British Columbia’s Port of Vancouver recently launched the start of its cruise season by welcoming the Holland America Line ship Koningsdam to the port’s Canada Place cruise terminal.
This is the first time the port is able to welcome cruise ships since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, prompting the Canadian government to prohibit cruise ships in Canadian waters. The government lifted the prohibition last November.
“We’re delighted to welcome cruise back to the Port of Vancouver after what has been a long two years,” Vancouver Fraser Port Authority President and CEO Robin Silvester said. “We’re looking forward to once again supporting great experiences for cruise passengers starting or finishing their cruise in our award-winning facility at Canada Place.”
To prepare for the cruising season, port officials teamed with cruise lines and industry partners and Transport Canada to ensure health safety by making sure cruise passengers are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and test negative for it before boarding.
The Vancouver seaport is a major homeport for cruises to Alaska and the only homeport offering one-way and round-trip excursions through Canada’s scenic Inside Passage. This year, over 300 cruise vessels are anticipated to call at the port, an 8% jump in cruise ship visits from 2019, according to the port.
“The return of cruise ships to Canada is a significant milestone in restarting our economy and reopening our tourism sector,” Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra said.