New record of 331 cruise ship visits with up to 1.3 million passengers expected in Vancouver in 2023

Mar 9 2023, 2:41 am

The schedule for the 2023 cruise ship season at the Canada Place cruise ship terminal in downtown Vancouver calls for an all-time record of 331 cruise ship visits.

And if these ships are filled to capacity, the 2023 season could also see a record of 1.3 million passengers.

This is up by 8% from 2022’s record of 307 cruise ship visits, which brought a relatively strong total of 815,000 passengers for the first cruise season since the onset of the pandemic.

Last year, cruise lines were also operating at significantly reduced capacities for at least much of the season, as a health safety measure emerging out of the pandemic, but that is no longer the case, which is a major factor for the potential total passenger record this year.

“Vancouver continues to be one of the world’s top cruise destinations and an award-winning homeport, and we are gearing up for another big season. Last year’s return to cruise was a comeback story for a valued industry that supports many regional tourism and hospitality businesses,” Mandy Chan, the manager of cruise services at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, told Daily Hive Urbanized, noting that their Canada Place terminal was recognized as North America’s best homeport in 2022.

“We look forward to working with our industry partners on further enhancing the passenger experience through our world-class cruise terminal and city.”

The 2023 cruise ship season officially starts on April 12, when the Sapphire Princess is scheduled to be the first cruise ship at Canada Place this year. The next day, the Koningsdam and Norwegian Bliss will arrive in Vancouver, with the Bliss’ single visit set to be the largest cruise ship at Canada Place this year.

But the cruise ship season will not truly kick off until early May, at which point at least one cruise ship will be expected at Canada Place almost every day through early October.

Many dates in the schedule call for two ship visits, and on some days there could even be more than three ships.

When all three berths at Canada Place are being used, cruise ships can anchor in the middle of Vancouver harbour and use small boats to shuttle passengers and crew back and forth between the ship and the terminal.

The Koningsdam will close the 2023 season on October 24.

The vast majority of cruise itineraries that start and/or end in Vancouver reach Alaska.

For 2023, Canada Place is expecting 23 visits from ships with Holland America Line, 62 from Princess Cruises, 49 from Royal Caribbean, 31 with Celebrity Cruises, 20 with Disney Cruise Line (Disney Wonder), and eight with Cunard Line (Queen Elizabeth).

It goes without saying that cruise ship passengers boarding and/or disembarking at Canada Place provide hotels, restaurants, shops, and entertainment businesses in and around the downtown Vancouver peninsula with an immense boost, supporting many jobs in the process.

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