Canada’s Port of Vancouver Sees Record Cruise Ship Visits

The Port of Vancouver’s Canada Place cruise terminal. Photo: Port of Vancouver.

This month, the Port of Vancouver in British Columbia wrapped up its cruise season with a record 306 visits — 6% more compared to 2019 — marking a positive return after COVID-19 pandemic restrictions halted cruising activities.

“It’s been fantastic to see cruise ships and passengers back in town after the two-year pause through the height of the pandemic,” Vancouver Fraser Port Authority President and CEO Robin Silvester said. “This year’s cruise season was an impressive comeback story for a critical catalyst for the local tourism industry.” 

While this season’s passenger numbers were lower with the slow return to cruise travel, occupancy levels gradually rose during the season, the port said, and are expected to average about 70% for the year, or about 815,000 passenger visits in 2022, compared to about 1.1 million in 2019.

“Progressively during the season, passenger numbers on cruise ships calling at the Port of Vancouver have risen, as pandemic restrictions eased and consumer confidence bounced back,” Silvester said. “Looking ahead, we’re seeing early indications of a record-setting season in 2023, which is a testament to the enduring strength of Vancouver’s cruise industry and this year’s successful return.”   

Initial bookings for 2023 so far show 334 cruise ship visits to the Canada Place cruise terminal at the port, and if operating under normal capacity, the port could see a record 1.3 million cruise passenger visits next year, according to the port.

By Karen Robes Meeks