Vancouver’s 2018 cruise season is set to wrap up October 19, when the Emerald Princess leaves Canada Place and heads down the Pacific coast to Los Angeles, before embarking on a 28-day round trip to Hawaii.
The season, which launched April 10 with the Star Princess’ visit, saw Vancouver welcome more than 900,000 cruise passengers on 243 ship visits – a 7% increase in passengers compared with 2017, and the largest season since 2010.
Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) vice-president of planning and operations Peter Xotta pointed to several season highlights.
“We made history with the arrival of the 25-millionth cruise passenger through the Port of Vancouver, saw the highest number of cruise passengers since 2010 and hosted the largest cruise ship ever to visit Vancouver,” he said.
That largest cruise ship to ever visit Vancouver was the 4,000-passenger Norwegian Bliss on September 30. The largest cruise ships in the world can now carry around 6,000 passengers.
Vancouver’s cruise sector hit a high-water mark of 1,060,383 passengers in 2002, when Vancouver was the dominant port for cruise ships in the region. Seattle, back then, welcomed 244,905 passengers.
Since 2002, the size of Seattle’s cruise sector has soared to surpass Vancouver and cruise ships carried more than one million people to Seattle last year.
Each cruise ship that visits the city adds an estimated $3 million to the local economy, according to the VFPA.
The Emerald Princess will be back in Vancouver on March 29 to launch the 2019 cruise ship season.