A Banner Year for YVR; Cruising in Asia Heats Up; Lusitania Remembered
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
More fun news today from the Cruise Shipping Miami convention in Miami, Florida. There’s so much going on that it’s remarkably difficult to digest it all – let alone cover it here on the site. But not everything that is noteworthy comes with an earth-shattering press release; in fact, there are so many technical suppliers here doing interesting and innovative things behind-the-scenes in areas that passengers will never see that I could fill a year’s worth of blogs on the subject.
Ditto for the destinations and ports of call: countries and cities are here from around the globe to market themselves to the cruise lines and to educate media (like yours truly) about what makes them so special.
Today, I thought I’d write about some of the news and information that caught my eye. Everyone and their dog is covering the big news items, so why not take a stroll down the road less travelled?
Port Metro Vancouver
I am biased (clearly) when I say I love Port Metro Vancouver. I’ve lived in the Metro Vancouver region for 13 years now, and I’ve been going down to Canada Place to watch the ships every year between May and September. At least, that’s been the typical season – until now.
While traffic numbers still aren’t quite what they were during the heyday of Alaskan cruising in 2006-07, they have been steadily improving for Port Metro Vancouver in the past few years. This year, however, marks one of the longest cruise seasons in the port’s history.
Starting this Sunday (March 22), cruise ship season in Vancouver will officially kick off with the arrival of Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess. She’ll return on Monday, April 6 and Tuesday, April 21, and will spend eight days in wet dock in Vancouver as well as she undergoes her routine maintenance check.
A long supporter of Vancouver as a homeport city, Princess is being exceptionally good to the city this year. Normally, ships depart by the last week of September, with perhaps a single call or two in early October. Not this year. Alaska cruise traffic remains right up until Tuesday, September 29, and then Princess kicks in with a series of calls in October, November and December aboard Star Princess and Ruby Princess. The latter closes the season out – on December 15, 2015.
It’s shaping up to be a great year for one of the most picturesque ports in the world!
CLIA – State of the Asian Cruise Industry
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) released their usual “State of the Industry” information at the start of the conference. Normally, this is like preaching to the choir: we all know the industry is good. We know (or should know) what the issues are. But one aspect of CLIA’s news was rather interesting: the state of the cruise industry in Asia.
If you follow cruising in Asia, you’ll know the continent has emerged as an almost mythical panacea, where revenues are always up, ships are always full, and customers are always paying top-dollar. I have my doubts about that, but up until this point, no one’s ever really been able to provide me with a lot of hard data around cruising in the region.