Vancouver’s Alaska Cruise Season Winds Down
Port Metro Vancouver’s 2014 Alaska cruise season ended in October with numbers on par with the 2013 season, with 812,095 passengers on 243 calls by 29 cruise ships visiting the port.
Progress was made this year to reduce emissions as Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited joined fellow cruise line companies Disney, Holland America and Princess with the ability to use shore power in Vancouver. Shore power reduces marine diesel air emissions by allowing ships to shut down their engines and connect to BC Hydro’s electrical grid while at dock.
Since its inception in 2009, shore power connections in Vancouver have reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 11,000 tonnes, according to the port. Further opportunities for shore power connections were made possible in part thanks to the addition of a third shore power connection arm at Canada Place in 2013, funded by Transport Canada.
“We are pleased to see the 2014 cruise season numbers holding strong, on par with last year” said Peter Xotta, Vice President of Planning and Operations, Port Metro Vancouver. “The decision by an additional cruise line to enable shore power was another win, providing more opportunities to reduce emissions and contribute to our local quality of life.”
According to Port Metro Vancouver, their cruise business generates approximately 283,000 hotel night stays, and over 440,000 in British Columbia, generating some 6,000 direct and indirect jobs, CAD 220 million in wages, and tax revenues for municipal, provincial and federal governments.
Predictions for the 2015 cruise season estimate ship call and passenger numbers to be similar to 2014. New to 2015, changes to the Canada Place cruise terminal passenger flows are planned to improve efficiency and optimize the passenger experience. Based on the results of a 2013 traffic flow study at the terminal, and consultation with the cruise industry, improvements will include the addition of two new escalators and an elevator, as well as additional check-in and marshalling space at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Beginning in 2015, the port will consolidate cruise business at Canada Place and retire Ballantyne Pier as an overflow cruise terminal.