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ErLee

Landsea Hop On Hop Off Vancouver

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Does anyone have personal experience on the new HOHO offered by Landsea in Vancouver?  I’m reading a lot of very lukewarm reviews on Trip Advisor of the other Grayline HOHO, so I’m interested in hearing about the new one if anyone has done it!  We’ll be there in 2 weeks, and my husband is having trouble with his knee that may keep us from following our original plan to rent bikes for our sightseeing. I’m sad about that, but trying to research our other options so we’ll have a backup plan if his ortho doc tells us that biking is a bad idea right now.

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I'd be asking this on TripAvisor forum and any other general travel site you're familiar with too. LandSea only started operating on May 1st, so while there have been ships in port the % of cruise critic users compared to other vacationers is going to be very low.

 

I did reach out to the new guys about their route as it wasn't clear if they included two ferry tickets to get to Granville Island and back, since they have no bus stop at all that is convenient - they responded within minutes, so customer service good on that front at least, confirming that you did get a return ferry included. On the downside, WestCoast dropped the price of their HOHO immediately that LandSea launched, and they visit literally twice as many stops (30 vs 15) on a faster frequency (20min vs 30min) so as long as pricing remains remotely comparable the WestCoast HOHO offers significantly better value...

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I appreciate the input martincath! I knew they just started this month from info you gave me previously and figured it was a long shot but possible that someone on here might have tried it! If we do, I’ll definitely come back and post about it here for future travelers. I have read reviews of both on Trip Advisor, and Landsea HOHO certainly has way fewer reviews but comparing just from May 2019, Landsea’s are all really positive but one,  which is why I’m thinking about them despite being perhaps a worse value from a cost vs # of stops standpoint. Multiple complaints on the competitor about very hot, old buses, not sticking to the time schedule, poor audio or a pre recorded spiel played with bad timing. There is a complaint about Landsea that the passenger waited for a bus and saw two go by from Westcoast in that time, which speaks to your comment on frequency. Landsea does have a published time schedule like a regular public bus system on their website; hard to know if they stick to that!  

 

I’m trying to decide in general if a HOHO is best for us or a full on guided tour if we’re not able to bike. Going to the ortho doc on Tuesday, so we shall see what he thinks about the biking.....

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22 minutes ago, ErLee said:

I’m trying to decide in general if a HOHO is best for us or a full on guided tour if we’re not able to bike. Going to the ortho doc on Tuesday, so we shall see what he thinks about the biking.....

Regular tours have the one benefit that your bus, and your seat, is always yours - so that means you can bring suitcases along if you're doing it immediately Pre/Post cruise and never have to wait for another vehicle. But they stop in far, far fewer places than HOHOs in general (even the short LandSea with 15 stops has probably more than twice as many as a four hour city tour). If you like your guide, you always have the same one too - but if you don't you're stuck with a crap one the whole tour! HOHOs definitely have more variability - individual vehicles and guides and drivers all vary, but if one sucks for whatever reason you can always get off and get back on the next one...

 

Personally I always opt for a HOHO over a regular tour for these reasons plus the fact that you can stay as long or short as you like (within the frequency of the buses of course...) at a given stop, and not get off at all if you're not interested. Regular tours always have to operate on a schedule based on 'Regular Joe' tastes - we know that they just don't work for us as there is always way too long spent at venues with nothing to do but shop and not enough spent at cultural & scientific attractions where we want to to pour over the exhibits in detail.

 

As to the biking thing - bear in mind that bikes only exist because they are much more efficient at moving you further for less effort than walking, so even if you opted for a HOHO or other bus tour instead of biking, if there are sites you still want to walk to a bike will likely mean less exertion for hubby's knee than walking. While an extended ride around the Seawall might be problematic, a 1 day access pass to our local Mobibike could be ideal at reducing effort getting between places - there are a ton of bike racks now, and thanks to the city-wide free WiFi network you can easily make use of mapping on a tablet or phone without paying for data (you can unlock the bikes with your account number once you have the account setup on your phone, so you don't even need an active connection except to buy the pass in the first place). If you think of it like a 'bike HOHO' - riding from bike rack to bike rack, returning the bikes, doing your shopping/sightseeing, then taking a bike again and moving on - you should get the picture. There are even multiple racks inside Stanley Park now so you can pootle around easily without exceeding the 30mins per ride cap before extra charges apply, so the base rate of $12 is all you have to pay for 24 hours access to bikes - it compares very well to the hourly charge for regular rental bikes!

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Posted (edited)

Now THAT is a great idea!!  I think the combination of a HOHO plus the mobibike option might be perfect for us!  Thank you!!

Edited by ErLee

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Well we decided on the LandSea HOHO based on the number of bad reviews about Westcoast. We did it today, and it was great, we did not regret it!  Yes, there are fewer stops, but to me they stopped in all the places you’d get off anyway. Yes, the busses are spaced with less frequency, but they have a schedule, and they stuck to it so there was no guessing game about when they’d be there. We were on both one of the double deckers with the open windows, which we loved on this spectacularly beautiful day, and later one of the regular motor coach type busses. The former had a better view, but the latter had better audio because there was no traffic sound from open windows.  Neither had the prerecorded audio that I’ve heard about on Westcoast. LandSea had live commentary by people that seemed enthusiastic about their city!  We also used our ticket to take the ferry to Granville Island and then from there to Yaletown. I highly recommend this option for getting an overview of Vancouver!

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Thanks for returning with feedback - and glad you enjoyed yourselves! Hubby's knee is bearing up I trust?

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7 hours ago, martincath said:

Thanks for returning with feedback - and glad you enjoyed yourselves! Hubby's knee is bearing up I trust?

 

So far so good, we’re just trying to be mindful so he can make it through the whole 2 week trip and still be on his feet!  Surgery is likely when we get back home 😒

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