Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many events might be canceled, postponed, or changed into limited versions, sometimes at very short notice. The Carol Ship Season has been suspended for 2020. They promise to be back in 2021!.
During the holiday time, the whole city and even its waterways are lit up with thousands of lights and various festive figures. For a few weeks preceding Chrismas, you can enjoy an amazing light show on the water. Until 2017, it used to be a well-curated event. Nowadays it is more about Carol Ship Dinner Cruises run by various private cruise companies.
Check out dozens of decorated Carol Ships with around 30,000 people on board at Coal Harbour. These boats are commercial cruises and private boats alike. The Carol Ships Parade has a 50-year history. Once there was only a single boat with Christmas lights but now thousands of people come to enjoy this magical Christmas parade.
The fantastic light displays, each with its own unique holiday theme attract locals and tourists alike. The Carol Ship Parade of Lights is the main festive procession held in the waters around downtown Vancouver, which runs every Friday and Saturday during the month of December. You can enjoy this amazing show onboard one of the boats, but you'll have to book a ticket in advance, or just watch it for free from the shore.
During the month of December, a range of events take place in different locations, such as Parade Nights in the Inner Harbour, Lonsdale Ave (North Vancouver), False Creek (destination—Science World), and Reed Point Marina (Port Moody).