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Vancouver’s First Cruise Ship Arrives Starting Expected Record Season

Vancouver cruise season starts
Vancouver kicks of its 2023 cruise season with the first ship arriving on April 12 (Port of Vancouver)

Published Apr 11, 2023 7:26 PM by The Maritime Executive

The first cruise ship of the season—the Sapphire Princess—arrives in Vancouver tomorrow, officially starting what could be a record season for the industry locally. A total of 331 cruise ships visits are scheduled for the Canada Place cruise terminal at the Port of Vancouver between April 12 and October 24, an increase of approximately 8% compared to 2022.

"Vancouver continues to be one of the world's top cruise destinations and an award-winning homeport," said Mandy Chan, manager of cruise services at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, the federal agency mandated to enable Canada's trade through the Port of Vancouver. "After a two-year pause and an incredible restart in 2022, we are now gearing up for another big season for the Vancouver cruise sector as well as the local hospitality and tourism industries it supports."

A record 1.2 to 1.3 million passengers could travel through the Canada Place cruise terminal at the Port of Vancouver in 2023—an increase of about 10% over the record set in 2019 of 1.1 million. The port authority continues to focus on enhancing the passenger experience and this year will become the first homeport cruise terminal in Canada to offer pet relief stations for service animals. Created as part of a larger plan to improve the terminal's overall accessibility, these stations offer a welcoming area for service animals during their visit to the Port of Vancouver's cruise terminal.

The Canada Place cruise terminal at the Port of Vancouver was recognized as North America's best homeport in Cruise Critic's 2022 awards late last year, due to its breathtaking vistas, proximity to the Inside Passage and central location in the heart of downtown Vancouver.

"As we prepare for another big season, I want to acknowledge the hard work of everyone who made Vancouver's return to cruise such a success last year as well as recognize the planning and preparation that has gone into this year," said Chan. "The Port of Vancouver's cruise comeback story is a testament to the exceptional work and dedication that industry has led to adapt and renew the sector. I'd like to thank our cruise lines partners, the Canada Place cruise terminal services provider Ceres Terminals Canada, the Cruise Lines International Association, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and everyone working throughout the cruise and tourism industries for their part in the safe and successful return of a treasured industry."

Vancouver has been a homeport for Alaska cruises for more than 30 years, acting as the home base for one-way and round-trip cruises through the Inside Passage. As a homeport destination, the Vancouver cruise industry injects an average of almost $3 million into the local economy for each ship that visits Canada Place, generates nearly 7,000 jobs across Canada, $300 million in wages and contributes $840 million to national GDP.

Highlights for 2023 cruise season

•    The first ship of the season, the Sapphire Princess, will arrive at the Canada Place cruise terminal east berth at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 12, 2023. The last cruise ship of the season, the Koningsdam, will depart Canada Place on Tuesday, October 24.

•    The following six ships will visit Canada Place for the first time in 2023: Brilliance of the Seas, Silver Whisper, Hanseatic Nature, Fridtjof Nansen, Seabourn Venture and Scenic Eclipse II

•    Canada Place cruise terminal at the Port of Vancouver welcomes the return of Holland America, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Cunard Line, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas, Windstar, Viking Cruises, Victory Cruise Lines, Hurtigruten, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Silversea Cruises, Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours and Oceania Cruises

•    In 2022, nearly 70% of cruise calls were shore power enabled, compared to 50% in 2019. Demand for shore power has steadily increased since 2009, when the Port of Vancouver became the first port in Canada and the third in the world to introduce shore power for cruise ships. The technology enables ships to shut down their diesel-powered auxiliary engines and plug into land-based electrical power. Shore power at the Port of Vancouver has helped reduce port-related greenhouse gas emissions by more than 25,000 tonnes since 2009.

•    Cruise returned to the Port of Vancouver on April 10, 2022, with the inaugural visit of the Holland America Line ship Koningsdam, following a two-year pause due to pandemic restrictions. There were 307 cruise ship visits and 810,090 passengers last year.

About the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and the Port of Vancouver 

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is the federal agency responsible for the shared stewardship of the Port of Vancouver. Like all Canada Port Authorities, we are accountable to the federal minister of transport, and operate pursuant to the Canada Marine Act with a mandate to enable Canada's trade through the Port of Vancouver, while protecting the environment and considering local communities. The port authority is structured as a non-share corporation, is financially self-sufficient and does not rely on tax dollars for operations. Our revenues come from port terminals and tenants who lease port lands, and from port users who pay various fees such as harbour dues. Profits are reinvested in port infrastructure. The port authority oversees the use of port land and water, which includes more than 16,000 hectares of water, over 1,500 hectares of land, and approximately 350 kilometres of shoreline. Located on the southwest coast of British Columbia in Canada, the Port of Vancouver extends from Roberts Bank and the Fraser River up to and including Burrard Inlet, bordering 16 municipalities and intersecting the traditional territories and treaty lands of more than 35 Coast Salish Indigenous groups. The Port of Vancouver is Canada's largest port, and the third largest in North America by tonnes of cargo. Enabling the trade of approximately $240 billion in goods with more than 170 world economies, port activities sustain 115,300 jobs, $7 billion in wages, and $11.9 billion in GDP across Canada.
 

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