The arrival of Princess Cruises’ ship Sapphire Princess at the Canada Place Terminal on April 12th will be symbolic of the hoped-for continuation of the industry’s rebound in Vancouver BC Canada.
It will be the first of what Port Vancouver expects to be a record 331 cruise ship calls to the city during the 2023 season, which, if the cruise companies can fill them, will bring a record number of vacationers.
Last year’s return of cruising to Vancouver with 307 visits was a “comeback story” for a valued industry that supports regional tourism and hospitality businesses, according to the manager of cruise services for the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, Mandy Chan.
Based on their schedule, it looked like "this season will be even more impressive,” Chan said.
8% more cruise ship calls are expected, with the potential to carry a record 1.3M passengers, in case the cruises sell out.
Travel restrictions, including the ban on cruise ships landing in Canada at the start of the COVID crisis in March 2020 that lasted until near the end of last year, made tourism among the hardest-hit sectors of the economy as well as one of the slowest to come back.
Before the COVID crisis, tourism officials estimated that the cruise sector of Vancouver accounted for ~$2.2 billion of Metro Vancouver’s ~$15-billion-a-year tourism economy.
The cruise industry shrunk to ~$5 billion a year during the crisis and will take more time yet to recover after last year's rebound.