If you wonder why cabs are hard to get at Canada Place and Vancouver’s tourist spots are crammed this weekend (May 14 and 15), it’s because 24,000 cruise passengers are descending on the city.
Three cruise ships carrying an estimated 13,500 passengers will berth at Canada Place cruise terminal on May 14 between 7:00 am to 5:00 pm. Another three ships will dock the next day unloading about 11,000 passengers, according to the Port of Vancouver (POV).
POV forecasts welcoming approximately 830,000 passengers to be brought in by 13 cruise lines this cruise season. A three percent increase in passenger volume compared to 2015. The season began as early as April 4th this year, and is scheduled to end October 19 with Star Princess being the first and last ship to call at the port. Vancouver receives over 230 cruise ship calls annually. Each ship call at Canada Place brings in over CAD$2 million to the local economy.
Why is Vancouver a Popular Cruise Hub?
Vancouver is the only home port that offers one-way and round-trip itineraries to Alaska through Canada’s Inside Passage – a spectacular route that runs along British Columbia’s west coast. The Alaska cruise season runs from May to September.
The city’s award winning cruise terminal with its scenic harbour – close proximity to tourist attractions, restaurants, shopping – and easy access to the international airport makes it a desirable hub for cruise ships. The Port of Vancouver is Canada’s largest port and the third biggest in North America.
Crystal Cruises 2016 Alaska Itineraries
Crystal Cruises, one of the world’s top rated luxury cruise lines is returning to Alaska after a five year absence, and using Vancouver as their home port. Crystal Serenity, their 1,070 passenger ship will sail between Vancouver and Whittier, Alaska starting June 19 thru August 16. Of their seven all-inclusive luxury themed itineraries, five are one way trips and two are 10 days round trip from Vancouver.
CLIA Cruise360 back in Vancouver
Demand for cruising has increased by 68% in the last 10 years, according to a Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) 2016 report. This year, 24 million passengers worldwide are projected to take a cruise. In 2014, the six top cruise passengers come from U.S.A. (11.21 million), Germany (1.77 million), UK(1.61 million), Italy (840,000), Australia (1 million) and Canada(800,000).
CLIA has chosen Vancouver for the 3rd time to hold its annual conference, CLIA Cruise360, which is the biggest and only official conference of the cruise industry. CLIA Cruise360 will be held from June 1st to 6th at the Vancouver Convention Centre, West. The event gathers travel professionals, cruise line representatives, port authorities, destinations, industry suppliers and CLIA preferred partners for six days of networking, education and fun.