Vancouver's season opens with 21% passenger spike forecast

Roald Amundsen of Hurtigruten is among several new ships and lines visiting Vancouver this year Roald Amundsen of Hurtigruten is among several new ships and lines visiting Vancouver this year

Vancouver's 2019 cruise season opened Friday with the arrival of Emerald Princess to Canada Place. More than 1m passenger movements (1,077,000) are expected at the BC port this year.

This is a 21% increase in passenger numbers, a record at Canada Place, on 290 calls.

Canada Place upgrades

In preparation, the port authority has invested in a number of upgrades to Canada Place.

'We’ve redesigned the ground transportation area to improve passenger flow, reconfigured the terminal to expand passenger processing areas and made a number of upgrades to all three ship berths,' said Carmen Ortega, manager, trade development of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.

This year 41 ships from 24 cruise lines will visit, ranging from small luxury and expedition ships to some of the largest vessels in the Alaska cruise market.

Economic impact

The Vancouver cruise industry stimulates, on average, nearly $3m in direct activity to the local economy for each ship that visits Canada Place. This generates nearly 7,000 jobs across Canada and $300m in wages, and contributes $840m to national GDP.

2019 highlights several new cruise lines coming to Vancouver including Cunard with Queen Elizabeth, Viking Cruises with Viking Orion, Azamara Club Cruises with Azamara Quest and Hurtigruten with Roald Amundsen.

Maiden calls

First-time visitors include Royal Princess, Windstar Legend, Celebrity Eclipse, Norwegian Joy, Ovation of the Seas, Silver Muse and Ponant's L’Austral.

Returning lines include Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Seabourn, Silversea and Windstar—all with ships that homeport in Vancouver.

The 2019 cruise season is scheduled to close on Nov. 1, with the departure of Star Princess. A full ship schedule is here.

Posted 01 April 2019

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review