It’s about more than size

Do you know the difference between a ship and a boat? The most obvious difference is that ships are bigger than boats. But there’s much more to it than that. There’s so much to learn about the differences between the two that we’ve created a tour on the topic.

The Ships vs. Boats Tour on Sunday, October 17 at 11:30 a.m. is an opportunity for you to learn all about the differences between boats and ships. During this one-hour family-friendly tour, you’ll also learn about vessels that were important in the development of the Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest.

Boats and ships are integral part of BC’s history. Indigenous canoes, steamships, schooners and sloops – all were essential to people living on the West Coast. The model ships in the Claridge Gallery, the St. Roch and the vessels moored at Heritage Harbour represent a fascinating portion of this history.

Tour Stops

The tour will start in the St. Roch shelter where you’ll learn why the St. Roch is a ship rather than a boat.

Then you’ll visit the Claridge Gallery where you’ll hear stories and details about some of the model ships. These are scaled models of real ships that influenced BC’s history. You’ll learn why BC would not be the province it is today without the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) marine transport services. You’ll also get to see some bone ships.

The third stop on the tour will be the Canoe Cultures :: Ho’-ku-melh exhibition where you’ll explore the role canoes play in local Indigenous cultures.

The last stop of the tour will be Heritage Harbour where you’ll learn about the history of the vessels moored there.

Tickets for this tour are $13.50 for adults, $11 for seniors & students, and $10 for youth. Ticket cost includes free museum admission. You’re welcome to explore the museum before your tour or after (or both).

Please note: for everyone’s safety and comfort all tour participants aged 12 and up will need to provide proof of vaccination, and masks are mandatory. For information on proof of vaccination, please visit the Government of BC website.

If you have any difficulty booking the tour, please email