VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - April 28, 2014) - Port Metro Vancouver's 2014 Alaska cruise season begins today and looks to be on par with a strong season last year as we expect to welcome about 812,000 passengers on 243 calls by 29 cruise ships.
In 2013 Port Metro Vancouver welcomed 812,398 passengers on 235 calls by 29 cruise ships, a 22 per cent 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.
We also expect this year will see increased use of shore power at our Canada Place terminal. Shore power is highly effective in reducing marine diesel air emissions by enabling ships to shut down their engines and connect to BC Hydro's electrical grid to provide necessary power while docked. Last year, 82 ships connected to shore power versus 60 in 2012, a 37 per cent increase. Since its inception in 2009, the Canada Place shore power installation has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 8,400 tonnes.
In addition to welcoming all our 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.
We also look forward to welcoming one of the largest cruise ships afloat, the Celebrity Solstice, in Vancouver for the first time for its two repositioning calls on May 8, 2014 and September 23, 2014.
Our 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, we will consolidate our cruise business at Canada Place and retire Ballantyne Pier as a cruise terminal. Ballantyne currently welcomes less than four per cent of cruise ship visits and lacks modern capabilities, including shore power.
"Port Metro Vancouver provides cruise passengers with a unique offering, starting with the inspirationally Canadian view of our landmark Canada Place terminal, combined with award-winning customer service, specialized cruise itineraries and a journey to Alaska through Canada's stunning Inside Passage - all make for a one of a kind experience," said Robin Silvester, President and Chief Executive Officer, Port Metro Vancouver. "We are planning now and focusing our efforts so that the cruise industry can increasingly call Vancouver home, and the city can continue to showcase our tourism hospitality industry to the world."
New for 2014:
- 812,000 passengers on 243 calls by 29 cruise ships, slight growth over 2013 that welcomed 235 calls by 29 cruise ships.
- Two new home ported vessels, the Crown Princess and the Pacific Princess.
- The Crown Princess, with a capacity of 3,080 passengers, is the largest Princess ship to sail to Alaska and will home port in Vancouver, bringing more than 63,000 passengers on 10 open-jaw sailings.
- For the first time in more than 10 years, Princess is offering roundtrip itineraries out of Vancouver with 20 roundtrip calls by the Pacific Princess.
- One of the world's largest cruise ships afloat, the Celebrity Solstice, will visit Vancouver for the first time for its two repositioning calls on May 08, 2014 and September 23, 2014.
To view the detailed 2014 cruise schedule for Port Metro Vancouver, visit: www.portmetrovancouver.com/about/cruiseandtourism/cruiselineschedules.aspx.
Port Metro Vancouver is North America's largest export port by tonnage and Canada's largest gateway, handling 19% of the nation's total goods trade. Economic activity supported by the port generates more than 57,000 direct and indirect jobs in the Lower Mainland, providing an average wage that is $23,000 above the national average. Across Canada, the port generates an estimated 100,000 jobs and provides $9.7 billion in direct GDP.