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Record 1.1 million passengers expected for Vancouver's 2019 cruise season

Kenneth Chan Mar 08, 2019 11:35 am 136

Vancouver’s tourism industry will see a markedly large boost from the significant growth in the cruise ship sector alone.

Carmen Ortega, manager of trade development at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, told Daily Hive that 290 ship calls and 1.077 million passengers are anticipated at the Canada Place cruise ship terminal in downtown for 2019, with the Emerald Princess’ sailing later this month kicking off the season.

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This is an all-time record for passenger numbers, and the growth represents about 21% more passengers than the previous year. It is also the first time Vancouver will reach exceed more than one million passengers in about a decade and a half, amidst continued intense competition from Seattle’s terminal facilities.

“We are thrilled to welcome a record number of passengers this year and a number of new ships and new cruise lines ranging from luxury smaller expedition style ships designed to carry small groups of passengers, to some of the largest vessels in the Alaska cruise market,” she said.

“What’s unique about the experience from Vancouver is that passengers can do roundtrip as well as one-way sailings from Vancouver, so they can disembark in Alaska and enjoy land tours before flying home, or vice versa. Meanwhile, Vancouver has plenty of short and extended shore excursion options for the 70% of cruise passengers who typically stay in the city pre or post-cruise.”

The 2019 season will also bring a number of new lines and ships to Vancouver.

Cunard is returning to Vancouver with the Queen Elizabeth, after an absence of many years, and Viking Cruises is bringing the 2018-built Viking Orion to the city as well.

One unique addition is the Hurtigruten’s Roald Amundsen, which was completed earlier this year and is the first of two hybrid ships Hurtigruten will add to its fleet over the coming years. This vessel cuts emissions by sailing with electrical propulsion, and, along with other high-tech advancements, it will reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions by 20%. Its itinerary begins in Copenhagen on August 20, travels through the Northwest Passage and Alaska, and ends in Vancouver on September 27.

New homeports include Eclipse (sister ship of the Solstice), Azamara Quest, and Royal Princess, which will be the largest vessel homeported in Vancouver with a capacity of 3,600 passengers.

After its first call to Vancouver in September 2018, the Norwegian Bliss, one of the world’s largest cruise ships, will be making two returns to Canada Place this year, on May 3 and September 30. Its sister ship, the Norwegian Joy, will also be making repositioning calls on April 25 and October 6.

Another larger vessel making a repositioning call will be Royal Caribbean’s 2016-built Ovation of the Seas.

Norwegian Bliss Canada Place cruise season ship

The Norwegian Bliss arriving in Vancouver during the early morning hours of September 30, 2018. (Maurice Lavoie / Flickr)

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