Yesterday was a very important Monday here in the Canadian city of Vancouver: with the arrival of Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Miracle, the 2014 Alaska Cruise Season officially kicked off for Port Metro Vancouver.
This year, the Port – which encompasses the iconic Canada Place Cruise Terminal and its nearby historic cousin, Ballantyne Pier – is expected to welcome roughly 812,000 passengers aboard 29 different cruise ships making a total of 243 calls. Last year, the city welcomed 812,398 guests; a 22 percent increase compared with the 2012 Alaska Season.
While Carnival Miracle was only here for one day before repositioning down to Seattle to begin her season of Alaska voyages, she will return for another call at Canada Place on Thursday, September 18, 2014 before heading south to warmer climates.
The second ship of the season arrives on Wednesday, when the Port will welcome Holland America Line’s Volendam, which will begin operating the line’s popular Inside Passage voyages to Alaska departing roundtrip from Vancouver each Wednesday until September 24.
Port Metro Vancouver estimates that each time a cruise ship calls on Vancouver, it injects CAD$2-million into the local economy in British Columbia. It also notes the cruise industry generates 283,000 hotel room nights for pre-and-post guests and a total of 440,000 room nights overall for trips further afar in British Columbia.
There’s also some exciting new ships that will call on Vancouver’s iconic Canada Place cruise terminal for the very first time. Princess Cruises’ Crown Princess will make her West Coast debut here in Vancouver, sailing North-and-Southbound itineraries between Vancouver and Whittier, Alaska for Anchorage. The sleek little Pacific Princess will also operate roundtrip Alaska cruises from Vancouver this year, marking the first time in over a decade that Princess Cruises has offered guests a roundtrip alternative from Vancouver.
Also noteworthy: Holland America Line’s Oosterdam will homeport in Vancouver for the first time, operating North And Southbound voyages between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska for Anchorage. Her sister, Zuiderdam, returns to Vancouver once again to reprise her popular roundtrip Inside Passage cruises calling on Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Glacier Bay National Park.
One ship, though, is generating a lot of buzz here on the West Coast: the arrival of Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Solstice, which will sail into Vancouver for the first time ever on Thursday, May 8, 2014; and again on September 23, 2014. The remainder of her Alaska season will be operated from Seattle.
“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 also planning further optimization of Canada Place to ensure that the cruise industry can increasingly call Vancouver home, so our city can continue to showcase its tourism hospitality industry to the world.”
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