Busiest Vancouver cruise season since 2009 sets sail today

City to welcome 830,000 passengers on 228 sailings  


Each ship that docks in Vancouver is said to be worth $2 million in economic stimulus

Vancouver’s 2016 cruise season, which is expected to be the busiest in seven years, launched April 4 with the Star Princess departing for Hawaii.

Port Metro Vancouver (PMV) expects that the city will welcome approximately 830,000 passengers on 228 sailings. That is a 3% increase compared with 2015, and the highest number of passengers since 2009, when 898,473 passengers sailed on ships that docked in Vancouver.

PMV data shows that the Vancouver cruise industry stimulates more than $2 million in economic activity for each ship that calls at Canada Place, which is turning 30 years old this year.

The season launch comes on the heels of PMV last month being awarded the Best Destination Experience by Cruise Insight Magazine at the 2016 Seatrade Cruise Global Conference, which is the cruise industry’s premier global event, held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Tourism Vancouver CEO Ty Speer called that award “a testament to the collective work of all the tourism partners who consistently deliver a dynamic pre-and post-cruise experience for the many cruise passengers visiting Vancouver each year.”

One upcoming highlight in this year’s cruise season is that Crystal Cruises is returning to homeport a ship in Vancouver this year, with eight sailings on the Serenity, bringing more than 13,000 passengers.

The last time Crystal Cruises home-ported a ship in Vancouver was 2005.

Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam will make her inaugural call to Vancouver on April 30. The Nieuw Amsterdam will call Vancouver her homeport, offering 24 roundtrip sailings, bringing more than 100,000 passengers.

Compagnie Du Ponant’s Le Soleal, sister ship of Le Boreal and L'Austral, will also make her inaugural call on June 18.

Vancouver’s cruise passenger count remains far below 2002’s 1,125,252 cruise-passenger total, but it’s substantially up from 2010 numbers, when Vancouver attracted what was then a 17-year low of 578,986.

gkorstrom@biv.com 

@GlenKorstrom