Vancouver, British Columbia, skyline

Vancouver, British Columbia, skyline

The Edmonton, Alberta, travel company that chartered a cruise ship to act as a floating hotel during the Winter Olympics has drastically cut prices as the assumption that Vancouver hotels would be full turned out to be a myth, according to metronews.ca.

Newwest Special Projects, which chartered the Norwegian Star cruise liner, has lowered prices to $275 a night from $700. The ship can accommodate more than 2,200 people.

“I can tell you that there is availability, that there are hotels even in the downtown core that do have rooms,” said Walt Judas, vice president of visitor services with Tourism Vancouver.

Jeff McDonald, a spokesman for Tourism Whistler, said the resort municipality also has rooms to fill as British Columbia moves closer and closer to welcoming the world next week.

“There are accommodations in Whistler for every night of the games,” he said.

But, both men pointed out, last-minute hotel hopefuls can expect to pay peak-season rates and a Games premium.

Judas estimated vacant hotel rooms in the Metro Vancouver region start at about $300 per night — higher for the downtown area.

Whistler hotel rooms last month cost anywhere from $400 to $1,200 per night, McDonald said.

Whistler RV Park still has room for the Olympics at the affordable rate of $135 per night for full hookups and shuttle transportation from the park.

And it also looks like Olympic visitors are choosing recreational vehicles, with one company saying rentals this February are up 80% over the same month last year.

Bernie Lehmann, of Frasesrway RV Rentals in Delta, said winterized RVs go for roughly $200 to $300 per night and can accommodate up to six people.

Vancouver is opening up two of its city parks to accommodate RVers during the international event.