Seaspan cruise ship refits bringing 1,700 workers to North Vancouver

Work on the three ships will go 24/7 for much of July and August at city Shipyards

Regent Seven Seas’ Seven Seas Mariner sits at Seaspan's Vancouver Drydock, one of three cruise ships coming to North Vancouver this summer, along with hundreds of temporary workers | Photo: Paul McGrath / North Shore News

Three major cruise ships are coming to Seaspan’s Vancouver Drydock for refit and overhaul work in July and August, bringing a mini-population boom to the City of North Vancouver’s Lower Lonsdale area.

The ships will be coming with quite literally boatloads of workers, according to a notice from the shipbuilding firm issued to neighbours last week.

The first one, Regent Seven Seas’ Seven Seas Mariner, arrived July 13 and is expected to stay until July 27. It has a staffing complement of 500 to perform maintenance and inspections.

The vessel booked for August 15 to August 23 will have 200 souls aboard while the last, which should be docked from August 18 to August 26, will cause a mini spike in Lower Lonsdale’s population – 1,000 new temporary residents.

Dry-dock activities to get the cruise ships back in service will run 24/7.

In each case, workers will be living and eating aboard the vessels, according to Seaspan, although they are free to get off and explore during their downtime. The company has made clear to incoming workers the family-friendly nature of the area, according to the notice.

“There will be an increase in activity in the area during these projects. We will be working closely with the City of North Vancouver to maintain tidiness in the Shipyards District, including providing additional garbage containers and conducting extra cleanup when required,” the notice states.

Lighthouse Harbour Ministries’ North Vancouver Seafarers Centre will offer free WiFi to visiting workers at its East Esplanade location, and Seaspan has arranged for discounted bike rentals from Reckless Bikes to help contractors get around.

In 2019, Seaspan brought in 2,000 staff and contractors for a 16-day overhaul of MV Regatta, the 680-passenger flagship of the Oceania Cruises company.

North Shore News