At least 100,000 people leave Vancouver every month and head for Alaska, but they are not jamming the airports and highways. This bold rush to the cold happens on cruise ships, 2,000 passengers at a time. By taking advantage of last minute offers, shoulder season prices (June and September) and stalwart research, a couple can cruise for the same price as an all-inclusive Mexican vacation.

The biggest attraction is glaciers, particularly those that calve and drop hundred-ton ice shards into the sea with a cannon crack and a minor tsunami. These become bergs that host seals and seagulls while reflecting the blue hue of arctic ice. Add whales, gold rush tales, snow-topped mountains and historic frontier towns and you get a cruise unlike anything offered elsewhere.

Holland America leads the rush with four ships, Princess has three, Celebrity two and Disney, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean each have one. Additionally, four lines with small luxury vessels go north. Read more at, July 7, 2017. Story and photo by Jim Couper.


The global cruise ship orderbook has reached another new record, with 87 ships on order between now and 2026. Recent orders from The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection and Disney Cruise Line have added to an already blockbuster growth agenda for the cruise industry, and more cruise ship newbuild news is expected to follow from multiple brands this summer. From, July 18, 2017


Seattle’s thriving cruise industry and the tourism it creates were topics at a recent Federal Way Chamber of Commerce event with Port of Seattle representatives as featured speakers and opening remarks by Port Commissioner John Creighton.

Cruise Services Manager Marie Ellingson talked about the cruise facilities, cruise lines and associated benefits. A total of 218 vessel calls are scheduled for this year, with each contributing $2.7 million to the economy.

Director of Tourism Development Ron Peck talked about how the cruise business drives tourism in our region. He also discussed the Port’s Tourism Marketing Support Program that has provided $150,000 for communities and organizations to promote their destinations to visitors. From the Port of Seattle’s Connections Newsletter, July 7, 2017


Cruise Newfoundland and Labrador is expecting a record year with an 80 percent increase in cruise passengers, according to Marketing Manager Deborah Cook. 2017 is seeing 20 ports in the region being visited a total of 105 times by 29 ships and 24 cruise lines.

“It is a wide variety of cruise operators, making up 64,000 passengers,” she told Cruise Industry News.

The Disney Magic will be making its first call to Newfoundland and Labrador this year. “2018 is also looking very strong,” added Cook. From Cruise Industry News, July 12, 2017


A new terminal will be completely finished by the fall foliage season for the Port of Montreal, and 2018 bookings are moving ahead of 2017.

“There are more and more ships coming to Montreal in general, and more ships coming early in the season,” said Yves Gilson, director of cruise for the Port of Montreal. Montreal’s new terminal will operate alongside a second berth option that was originally temporary but will now stay. From Cruise Industry News, July 10, 2017


Ian Robertson sees Ogden Point as a “blank canvas” with which to create services, enhanced public spaces and a more welcoming area for the thousands of cruise ship passengers who disembark every year. The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority CEO recently met with Victoria City Council to discuss proposed plans for the site, which is one of the largest facilities the GVHA manages around the city’s waterfront.

The draft master plan includes new commercial and retail development along the Dallas Road edge of the 34.7-hectare property, as well as a raised cruise ship terminal with room for tour buses underneath, a First Nations cultural and retail area and improved pilotage, heliport, marine service and boat launch facilities. A possible hotel opportunity near the head of the breakwater is also in the mix.

“Our end goal is to begin the rezoning process for the master plan [after that] and have the rezoning in front of council by December 2018 or January 2019,” Robertson said. “First and foremost the goal … is to make it a site that is welcoming to the residents of not just James Bay, but the residents of Greater Victoria 365 days a year, and to bring in opportunities to attract people all year round,” Robertson said. “The cruise industry will continue to be a big part of that, as will the First Nations,” he added.

The cruise ship terminal is the highest profile element on the GVHA management list, and for good reason. This year Ogden Point will see an all-time record of 240 ship visits. From, July 12, 2017


The World, the largest private residential ship on the planet, returned to the Port of Nanaimo on July 13 for a two-day stay.  Bernie Dumas, President & CEO of the Nanaimo Port Authority, was enthusiastic about her third visit to the Port of Nanaimo.

“We are privileged to host The World with her travel-experienced passengers on this reputable luxury vessel,” stated Bernie Dumas, President & CEO of the Nanaimo Port Authority.  “The World is a-one-of-a-kind vessel and frequents the beautiful British Columbia coast, a favourite destination for passengers.  It is important that we showcase our customary hospitality, which Nanaimo is known for, to inspire passengers to return to Central Vancouver Island.”

With six major ship calls from various cruise lines to Nanaimo in 2017 the mid-island will enjoy an economic impact of $2.87 million from direct and indirect spending, according to a recently released economic analysis.  “These calls provide significant opportunities for Central Vancouver Island businesses,” Dumas said. From, July 12, 2017 Photo by @portnanaimo  


Disney Cruise Line recently announced it is planning not two, but three new ships in the next phase of expansion. By the time these three ships are sailing, the cruise line will have nearly doubled the size of its fleet. It was announced last year that two new ships were going to be built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany with scheduled completion dates of 2021 and 2023. This additional ship will be built at the same shipyard and is scheduled to be completed in 2022.

“We decided two ships wouldn’t be enough to hold all of the exciting new experiences we have been dreaming up to take family cruise vacations to a whole new level with immersive Disney storytelling, world-class family entertainment, and imaginative innovations that are fantastically fun and uniquely Disney,” Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said.

All ship names, design plans and itineraries are still in development, with each of the ships expected to have their own unique experiences. The three new ships will be powered by clean-burning liquefied natural gas and be the same size – approximately 135,000 gross tons with about 1,250 guest staterooms planned – which is slightly larger than the newest Disney Cruise Line ships, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.  From, July 15, 2017


Norwegian Cruise Line recently announced updates to its summer 2018 deployment, including the Norwegian Jewel taking the Sun’s place in the Alaska market. The Norwegian Jewel will rejoin the Alaska fleet in summer 2018, with seven- and nine-day sailings from Seattle, Seward and Vancouver, Norwegian said, in a press release.

“Alaska continues to be one of the most popular destinations we sail to around the world,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer for Norwegian Cruise Line.  “We are thrilled to be significantly increasing capacity in the region in summer 2018 with the redeployment of Norwegian Jewel and the inaugural season for Norwegian Bliss, providing more opportunities for our guests to experience a vacation of a lifetime in this incredible pristine destination.”

The Norwegian Sun will undergo a two-and-a-half week dry dock in Victoria, British Columbia as a part of the Norwegian Edge™, the brand’s revitalization program encompassing the entire guest experience, and re-enter service on April 19, 2018 where she will begin her journey to the east coast with a 17-day Panama Canal cruise departing from Seattle. From, July 10, 2017


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