Sharing the seafaring history of the Pacific Northwest and Arctic regions, this family-friendly museum houses the RCMP Arctic St. Roch, the first ship to sail in both directions through the treacherous Northwest Passage and the first to circumnavigate North America. You can scramble around the decks and into the St. Roch's cabins, imagining yourself as a sea captain attempting to navigate the Arctic. About a third of this museum has been turned over to kids, with touchable displays offering a chance to drive a tug, maneuver an underwater robot, or dress up as a seafarer. Toddlers and school-age children can work the hands-on displays in Pirates' Cove and the Children's Maritime Discovery Centre. The museum also has an extensive collection of model ships. While you're here, take a moment to look at the 100-foot-tall replica Kwakiutl totem pole in front of the museum. The massive white-and-yellow contraption behind the Vancouver Maritime Museum is the Ben Franklin submersible.
It looks like something a Jules Verne character would put to sea but was actually built in 1968 as a marine research tool to, among other things, chart the Gulf Stream. A more fascinating claim to fame is that it was once the largest of its kind in America and was instructional for NASA: the information about how people lived in such close quarters for extended periods of time provided preliminary research data on the dynamics of living aboard a space station.