VANCOUVER — Port Metro Vancouver’s 2014 Alaska cruise season begins this week and looks to be on par with a strong season last year with about 812,000 passengers on 243 calls by 29 cruise ships expected.
In 2013 Port Metro Vancouver welcomed 812,398 passengers on 235 calls by 29 cruise ships, a 22% increase in passengers over 2012.
Each time these floating cities arrive, they stimulate more than $2 million in economic activity. In Vancouver, the cruise business generates approximately 283,000 hotel night stays and over 440,000 in British Columbia, generating some 6,000 direct and indirect jobs, $220 million in wages and tax revenues for municipal, provincial and federal governments.
In addition to welcoming long-time cruise line customers, this year Port Metro Vancouver will be home port to two new vessels, the Crown Princess and the Pacific Princess. The Crown Princess is the largest Princess ship to sail to Alaska and will bring more than 63,000 passengers on 10 sailings. It is the first time in more than 10 years that Princess is offering roundtrip itineraries out of Vancouver with 20 roundtrip calls by the Pacific Princess.
One of the largest cruise ships afloat, the Celebrity Solstice, will also sail to Vancouver for the first time for its two repositioning calls on May 8, 2014 and Sept. 23, 2014.
The cruise facilities have received global praise, including being named the 2013 Top North American Home Port by TripAdvisor’s cruise critic and Cruise Insight magazine’s 2014 awards for Most Efficient Terminal Operation and Best Turnaround Port Operations.
In 2014 and 2015, changes to Canada Place passenger flows are planned to improve efficiency and optimize passenger experience. Beginning in 2015, the port will consolidate cruise business at Canada Place and retire Ballantyne Pier as a cruise terminal. Ballantyne currently welcomes less than 4% of cruise ship visits and lacks modern capabilities, including shore power.
To view the detailed 2014 cruise schedule for Port Metro Vancouver, visit: portmetrovancouver.com/about/cruiseandtourism/cruiselineschedules.aspx.