Port of Vancouver on course for record breaking cruise season in 2024. Another record year for Canada Place cruise terminal

Queen Elizabeth's maiden visit to Vancouver, BC. - May 21, 2019 (Photo by William Jans for Cunard)Early estimates are for another record year for cruise passenger visits to the award-winning Canada Place cruise terminal in Vancouver, as collaborative efforts to improve sustainability progress.

The first cruise ship of the season, the Disney Wonder, arrives in Vancouver on Monday, March 11—kicking off what is expected to be another record season for the industry locally. There are 329 cruise ship visits currently scheduled for the Canada Place cruise terminal at the Port of Vancouver between March 11 and October 29, 2024.

This could mean a record 1.27 million passengers would travel through the Canada Place cruise terminal at the Port of Vancouver in 2024, about 2% more than last year’s record.

“We expect 2024 to be another strong season for the award-winning Canada Place cruise terminal, as we solidify Vancouver as a premier homeport servicing the popular Alaska market,” said Mandy Chan, manager of cruise services at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, the federal agency mandated to enable Canada’s trade through the Port of Vancouver. “Cruise is an important part of Vancouver’s vibrant tourism sector that supports countless local hospitality and tourism businesses and jobs. We look forward to working alongside our cruise line and industry partners to ensure another successful season.”

Cruise ships deployed during the winter in other parts of the world return to the West Coast in March and April to prepare for the Alaska season. On March 11, the Disney Wonder will embark passengers heading to San Diego before coming back in May to start its weekly itinerary from Vancouver to Alaska.

Vancouver has been a homeport for Alaska cruises for more than 30 years, acting as the base for one-way and round-trip cruises through the Inside Passage. As a homeport destination, the Vancouver cruise industry injects an average of almost $3 million into the local economy for each ship visit, supports nearly 7,000 jobs across Canada and $300 million in wages, and contributes $840 million to Canada’s GDP.

“A key focus right now is continuing to work in partnership on initiatives to protect our environment and it is great to see our cruise line partners eager to embrace programs such as using shore power to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slowing their ships while travelling through critical local habitat of at-risk whales as part of ECHO,” said Chan. “The allure of an Alaska cruise is the natural beauty of the journey, and we know more can be done to create a sustainable cruise market while enabling its growth. We want to thank everyone for the collaborative progress made so far and look forward to continuing this important work in 2024.”

The suite of environmental programs and initiatives for cruise at the Port of Vancouver includes:

Shore power, which offers shore power-enabled visiting ships to shut down their diesel-powered auxiliary engines and plug into B.C.’s low-emission, hydro-powered electrical grid. It has helped reduce port-related greenhouse gas emissions by more than 38,000 tonnes since being introduced at the Port of Vancouver in 2009, the equivalent of taking about 8,500 gasoline-powered cars off the road for one year.

ECHO Program, a world-leading program that encourages cruise ships and other large commercial ships to slow down or move away from key areas of critical habitat for at-risk whales such as the southern resident killer whales. The cruise industry has actively participated in the program since 2017, with cruise ship operators slowing down on 83% of all transits through key areas of southern resident killer whale critical habitat in Haro Strait, Boundary Pass, and at Swiftsure Bank in 2023.

EcoAction Program, which provides discounts of up to 75% off harbour dues for ships that are cleaner and quieter, including by using alternative, low-emission fuels or plugging into shore power.

Pacific Northwest to Alaska Green Corridor, which will be the world’s first cruise-led, zero-emission green corridor and connect Washington, Vancouver and Alaska. The green corridor is being advanced in partnership with global cruise lines, ports, governments and environmental groups.

Discharge restrictions that prohibit cruise ships from discharging scrubber wash water while at berth or at anchor within the Port of Vancouver, in addition to restrictions on black and greywater

“As another record cruise season gets underway in Vancouver, I want to acknowledge the hard work of all our partners who have made our city’s return to cruise after the pandemic such a success,” said Chan. “This includes cruise lines, Canada Place cruise terminal manager SSA Marine, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and our partners at Canada Border Services Agency and US Customs and Border Protection. The success of Vancouver’s cruise industry year after year is a direct result of the dedication and collaboration of all those involved.”

Day-to-day operations at the Canada Place cruise terminal are managed on the port authority’s behalf by SSA Marine, previously known as CERES Terminals Canada.

Highlights for 2024 cruise season

The first ship of the season, the Disney Wonder, will arrive at the Canada Place cruise terminal west berth at 7:00 a.m. on Monday, March 11, 2024. The next ship of the 2024 season will be the Norwegian Bliss arriving overnight on April 4. Full 2024 details are available in the cruise schedule.

The last cruise ship of the season, the Norwegian Jewel, will depart Canada Place on Tuesday, October 29, 2024

The following five ships will visit Canada Place at the Port of Vancouver in 2024 for the first time : Explora I, Silver Nova, Celebrity Edge, Pacific World, Hanseatic Spirit

The Canada Place cruise terminal at the Port of Vancouver welcomes the following cruise lines in 2024: Celebrity Cruises, Crystael Cruises, Cunard, Disney Cruise, Explora Journeys, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Holland America, Hurtigruten, Norwegian Cruise, NYK Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Peace Boat, Ponant, Princess, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea Cruises, Victoria Cruises, Viking Ocean Cruises

In 2023, nearly 75% of cruise calls were shore power-enabled, compared to 50% in 2019. Demand for shore power has steadily increased since 2009, when the Port of Vancouver became the first port in Canada and the third in the world to introduce shore power for cruise

(Port of Vancouver on course for record breaking cruise season in 2024 – Vancouver Fraser Port Authority)