High numbers of cruise passengers expected in Vancouver throughout spring and summer

Totem Poles at Alert Bay on Vancouver IslandAnyone visiting Canada Place or nearby areas in downtown Vancouver should prepare for increased crowds and traffic between now and September, with the local cruise industry on course to attract record passenger numbers.

“We are expecting another exciting season for the award-winning Canada Place cruise terminal in 2024, with cruise lines reporting robust bookings and the popularity of the Alaskan cruise market continuing to grow,” said Mandy Chan, cruise services manager at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, the federal agency mandated to enable Canada’s trade through the Port of Vancouver. “While record numbers of cruise tourists visiting our region will provide a vital boost for local businesses and tourism providers, it will also mean anyone planning to visit Canada Place or nearby areas downtown should plan ahead and expect increased crowds and traffic.”

About 1.27 million passengers are expected to pass through the Canada Place cruise terminal at the Port of Vancouver this season, with 329 cruise ship visits scheduled between March 11 and October 29. This would represent about 2% more passenger visits than 2023’s record of 1.24 million.

Visitors and locals can expect to see high passenger volumes start at Canada Place this week and continue throughout summer—with only five days between now and the end of September without at least one cruise ship visit. Saturdays and Sundays are expected to be particularly busy, with between 20,000 and 30,000 passengers scheduled to pass through the cruise terminal on weekends over spring and summer.

Most cruise ship passenger arrivals and departures take place between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., which is when people can expect higher than normal pedestrian and vehicle traffic volumes in the downtown core and increased demand for taxis and public transportation. On peak cruise days, Vancouver Police Department’s traffic authority will help manage traffic and pedestrian flows at nearby crosswalks, and the port authority will have additional staff on site to help with passenger enquiries.

The Canada Place cruise terminal is one of North America’s premier homeports for Alaskan cruises, and is the point of origin where many cruise line itineraries start and end and where ships get serviced and provisioned. Each cruise ship visit to Vancouver generates an average of more than $3 million in direct activity to the local economy.

(High numbers of cruise passengers expected in Vancouver throughout spring and summer – Port of Vancouver)