With 2018 set to be a record year for B.C.’s West Coast cruise season, the buzz of anticipation is well underway. The big excitement for this season is the inaugural visit of the Norwegian Bliss. With over 4,000 passengers, it is the largest vessel by far to ever sail the Alaska itinerary.
Here’s how the season is shaping up for B.C.’s ports:
Port of Vancouver will see another year of strong growth in cruise traffic in 2018
The Port of Vancouver is expecting to welcome nearly 900,000 passengers through Canada Place, anticipating more than 240 vessel calls from 14 different cruise lines. This represents eight per cent growth over 2017, which saw 842,928 passengers on 237 vessel calls.
Upward trend for Victoria’s cruise business continues
Following a seven-per cent increase in ship calls in 2017 over 2016, Jill Sawyer, Communications Manager, Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, advises that further increase is expected for 2018. “Ogden Point will welcome 247 cruise vessel calls to Ogden Point this year,” she said. “That is an additional three per cent increase, and 2019 will continue the upward trend.” She also noted that passenger numbers would surpass 600,000 (another record) with crew adding another 261,000.
Nothing but the best for cruise visitors to Nanaimo
Nanaimo Port Authority is looking forward to three ship calls in 2018. Two visits from Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas once on May 16 and again on September 19, Also visiting Nanaimo this year is the Star Princess on April 9, Nanaimo’s numbers for 2018 will be very similar to 2017 (10,366 passengers and 4,450 crew members).
Prince Rupert proving popular with luxury liners
“We are looking forward to building upon the overwhelming success of the 2017 season,” said Brian Friesen, Director of Trade Development and Communications. 2018 is shaping up to be another successful season for the Port of Prince Rupert. With 25 ship calls and 12,600 passengers, 2018 is just slightly below the activity seen last year — which was double from the year before. “This year we are seeing the vessel calls hold at the same, with a slight decrease in passenger numbers due to the reduced number of larger vessels that we saw in 2017.”
Port Alberni to host cruise ships again in 2019
Currently, Holland America Line (HAL) is scheduled to return to Port Alberni May 25, June 15 and July 6 in 2019. Port Alberni last hosted a cruise ship in May 2013, also a HAL vessel. While feedback from passengers, crew and the company itself was extremely positive about the Port Alberni experience, market conditions influenced the return of the port call until now. The Port, in partnership with the City of Port Alberni, have remained connected to the industry to ensure the community was known as a welcoming and great cruise destination.
To read the full story please visit bcshippingnews.com, April 25,2018