Despite a bustling city by day– crawling with international tourists, lively young people, and wild hockey fans— Vancouver, B.C. hushes under the moonlight. The quiet and chilly peace hovers under the towering sky scrapers, dancing with mesmerizing colors on False Creek.
The False Creek inlet separates downtown Vancouver’s land access, creating an elusive peninsula with a majestic skyline, viewable from all angles. Rainbow-colored water taxi’s tut up and down the creek during the day, carting tourists and locals around to markets, museums, and bars along both sides of the water, weaving between luxurious yachts, fishing boats, and houseboats on dock.
After spending my upbringing visiting Vancouver regularly, I began my search to find a new perspective of a city I know well. Preparing for a weekend trip to my favorite, world-class city, I opened AirBnB.com in search of a fresh take on a city I already love.
While historic hotels or homes for rent create a fun “imagine if I lived here” reality to play in, or cater to nightlife in convenient locations, I ended my search after landing on Orianna’s listing: a stay on her renovated yacht, The Orianna, anchored in False Creek with 360-degree views of some of Vancouver’s biggest attractions.
From the moment she picked us up on the Olympic Village dock, to dropping us off at the Yale Town pier to say goodbye, Orianna’s hosting style and service catered to the exact experience we wanted. An out-of-the-box free spirit, Orianna’s candor, demeanor, humor, and spark illuminated our whole visit to Vancouver. Although I’ve been hundreds of times, I felt excitement like it was my first.
Because the yacht is anchored in the middle of False Creek, we relied on meeting up to be transferred between boat-and-land. While she’s prompt in arriving on time, and extremely flexible and accommodating of various and changing schedules, we enjoyed the 10-or-so minute ride with her, and usually sat around chatting longer than necessary. The time spent zipping back-and-forth enriched our visit in energetic and fruitful conversation. Although inconvenient and non-conventional, I imagine the type of visitors who stay with her are also seeking an non-conventional and unique experience in the city: If they choose Orianna’s yacht stay, their understanding of Vancouver will be greatly enriched.
Her two-bed, two-bath Cooper Prowler Yacht is fully quipped with the comforts of home: linens, espresso, kitchen, and gathering space. Orianna herself lived on her own namesake before sharing her love of “Boat Life” with guests through private charter bookings. Leaning into hosting and hospitality, she began operating on AirBnB and purchased a Willard Trawler as well, marketing her fleet as @VancouverYachtLife on Instagram. Although many pass through, her personality and trinkets remain on display, sharing her Italian heritage, photos from sea, and mementos gathered from her lifetime.
Just as with any 36-foot vessel (or home for that matter), the stay has it quirks. Introducing us to marine-living accommodations, Captain Orianna expertly walked us through the “how to’s” and responsibilities inherent to safely living on a boat. However, given the temporary nature of the stay, nothing was complicated or too nerve wracking to master quickly: even for a visually impaired man. She takes care of most things.
Windows on all sides of The Orianna provide sweeping views of Vancouver, even from inside the living room, kitchen, or principal bedroom. The second bedroom, with only port holes, has easy roof access to one of the boat desks. With plenty of outdoor space to lounge, dine, and enjoy, we spent the evening there with a glass of wine, watching the sun set behind BC Place, and lights light up my favorite city. I wish I were better prepared with a cheese board and fresh fruit from Granville Market– to sip and snack- as I witnessed the quiet peace unfold across a majestic city.
Staying at Orianna’s is like taking a train trip or a road trip across the country: it’s not just part of the journey, but the destination.
With two queen beds, The Orianna can accommodate four people; however, the second bedroom is quite cozy. While two adults could use the room, it may be better suited for children, singles, or newlyweds.
My only regret was not preparing for a slow morning and not bringing a sweet breakfast on board at night to reheat in the morning. I’ve left sweet crepes on deck during a sunrise to my imagination… hopefully you can make up for that.
Orianna charters her yacht for private groups directly. For overnight overnight stays on her yacht or the Mystic Voyager, her trawler outfitted with a fire pit and outdoor shower, bookings are accommodated exclusively through AirBnB. Although she currently has two operating vessels on False Creek, she aims to expand her fleet to host year-round: while winter docks her boats in Canada, she hopes to anchor new boats in sunny international locations to live and work during British Columbia’s off-season.
If you’re looking for a memorable and unique addition to your Vancouver experience, book well in advance and let her know @TalesoftheCork sent you. Let me know if you’re making your way over, and I’d love to chat– Or you could always tag me in a picture of you on the deck, enjoying breakfast or a glass of wine.