Port Vancouver is Canada's "Alaskan" cruise port and homeport for Alaska-based liners during summer. The port handles annually between 240-270 cruise ship calls and over 1 million passengers through Canada Place cruise terminal. Port's total annual economic impact is ~USD 1,6 billion.
As the number and sizes of cruise liners to Vancouver constantly increase, the port is more and more often ranked as congested. The average passenger capacity of the vessels increased by 138% (up to 3100 pax) and the average LOA length increased by 50%, (up to 300 m / 985 ft). However, Canada Place Terminal's capacity is limited as the facility was built for older design ships.
Vancouver's cruise shipping business generates nearly US$3 million by each visiting vessel (at Canada Place), nearly 7000 Canadian jobs, ~US$300 million in wages, ~US$840 million to Canada's GDP. As cargo port, Vancouver BC is ranked North America's 3rd largest - after South Louisiana (along Mississippi River) and Houston TX. It serves shipping lines connecting Canada with 170+ countries. Port's annual trade volume is estimated at ~USD 200 billion. It sustains a total of 115,300 Canadian jobs, and generates US$7 billion in wages and US$12 billion in GDP.
The Port Authority company Vancouver Fraser manages the federal seaport lands in and around the city. Vancouver is Canada’s largest cruise port and main homeport for Alaskan cruises. The port has 28 marine terminals serving Ro-Ro ships (car carriers), break-bulk and bulk carriers, container ships and cruise vessels.
- In 2019, BC Government, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and FortisBC (natural gas and electricity provider) signed a deal to establish Westcoast Canada's first STS LNG (ship-to-ship LNG) marine bunkering. The new service is for ocean-going and large-sized vessels, including BC Ferries ships.
- The project includes a 5-year construction period for building the needed infrastructure. The project's economic contribution was estimated at CAD 1,8 billion (to BC's GDP/during the construction) and an annual impact of CAD 930 million.
- State's LNG bunkering business was inaugurated in 2017. Currently, 5x Ro-Pax ships (BC Ferries) and two cargo ferries (Seaspan) are truck-fuelled with LNG by FortisBC. By the new project, large vessels are LNG-fuelled via barge, being filled up at a jetty on Fraser River (Tilbury Island).
Port's cruising season is May through late-September / early-October. Since 2008, the seaport voluntary purchases renewable / wind energy. At Canada Place terminal, port's cruise business generates (direct economic activity) an average of USD 3 million per visiting vessel. Ship types vary from large and mainstream to top-luxury and small expedition vessels. Inaugurated in 2009, Canada Place terminal's shore-to-ship power capabilities reduce significantly the amount of greenhouse gas emissions generated by visiting vessels. The new technology allows docked cruise ships to shut down completely their diesel engines and connect to BC Hydro’s electrical grid for all the needed onboard electrical power while berthed. The volume of reduced emissions per year is over 2200 tons. Approx 40% of all cruise vessels visiting the port are shorepower enabled. As incentives for using shorepower, the port offers 50% reduction in harbour dues.
In 2010, the port was visited by around 600,000 cruise ship tourists. In 2014 was closed the Ballantyne Pier terminal. Since then, Canada Place is city's only remaining cruise ship terminal.
In 2015, the cruise port handled a total of 228 ship visits (32 different vessels) and over 800,000 passengers. During season 2015, Princess Cruises introduced new roundtrip Vancouver itineraries to Hawaii and US West Coast (California) on Ruby Princess. Port's 2016 statistics included directly generated nearly 7,000 jobs (country-wide), USD 300 million in paid wages and USD 840 million to Canada's GDP.
On May 20, 2017, the cruise port reported a record day with 3 ship calls (Emerald Princess, Star Princess, ms Nieuw Amsterdam) and a total of 15,800 cruise tourists. Vancouver police units were assigned to direct traffic. The port authority warned of transportation delays. The record day resulted in hours-long waits at Canada Place terminal (for customs processing) and additional long waits for taxis. The taxicab problem was mainly due to the limited number of cab licenses issued in Vancouver City, as well as the local prohibition of ride-sharing services.
Over Canada Day 2017's long weekend (July 1, 2, 3), a fleet of 8 cruise ships came into Vancouver harbour docking at Canada Place. These ships (Golden Princess / overnight, Star Princess, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Celebrity Infinity, Norwegian Sun, Crystal Serenity and Disney Wonder) had total economic impact on local businesses estimated at USD 24 million. It was based on the average USD 3 million per cruise liner ashore passenger spending (on restaurants, shopping, pre- and post-voyage hotel stays, local transportation, day tours). In 2017, the cruise port had scheduled a total of 236 ship calls (2% increase over 2016) and handled nearly 843,000 passengers (3% increase over 2016). During season 2017, the port had scheduled 33 different liners from the fleets of 15 different companies. The port's economic impact in 2017 is USD 3 million per ship call (including spending on tours, hotels, taxis, shopping, etc).
For season 2018, the cruise port reported a record year - 243 ship calls (7% increase over 2017), 33 different ships, 14 different companies, over 900,000 passengers. On May 23 was celebrated port's 25 millionth arriving cruise ship tourist. Port's largest liner so far is NCL's Norwegian Bliss (capacity 4200 passengers). NCL Bliss departed from Vancouver (Oct 1, 5-day repositioning cruise) to Los Angeles via San Francisco. Port's 1 millionth cruise passenger mark was reached in 2002 (1,060383 million).
In 2018-H1 (first half), port's containerized cargo volumes increased by 5% (over 2017-H1) to the record number 1,64 million TEU-containers. The increase was due to increasing international demand for Canadian goods and Canadian demand for Asian goods. Beside container shipping trade, port's results also showed:
- increase in potash (22,7%), autos (8%), coal (8,9%), forest (4%) and petroleum (40,2%) products
- decline in grain (10,2%, crops-feed), chemicals-minerals (5%), ores-concentrates (27,8%). Port's 2018-H1 cargo traffic (over 2017-H1) report included:
- Overall cargo increased 4,4% - to total 72,1 million tons.
- Auto units increased 8,3%, to total 236396.
- Breakbulk cargoes increased 14,4 % - to total 8,8 million tons, including 21,1% in domestic traffic.
- Drybulk cargoes increased 0,7%.
- Liquid bulk cargoes increased 28,3%, including 40,2% in petroleum products.
- TEU-container shipping increased 5,1% - to total 1,64 million.
- Cruise shipping traffic increased 12,7%.
For season 2019 (March 29 through November 1), the number of handled ship calls was 288 (+22% over 2018), with estimated 1,077 million passengers. Berth bookings 2019 were made by 24 brands/companies for 41 different vessels. New cruise lines included Azamara (ship Azamara Quest), Cunard (MS Queen Elizabeth), Viking Ocean (MS Viking Orion) and Hurtigruten (MS Roald Amundsen). Other new liners (with maiden port calls) included Ovation OTS, Celebrity Eclipse, Norwegian Joy, Royal Princess, Star Legend, Silver Muse, L’Austral.
In mid-July 2020 was opened G3 Terminal Vancouver (grain export terminal, construction works started in March 2017.) featuring modern design, loop track elevators, a direct railway link for taking Canadian Prairies grain via trains (and loading it onto drybulk cargo ships), max capacity 3x 150-car trains and storage capacity 180,000 MT (metric tonnes). Trains unload while in motion and go back to the terminal’s elevators without detaching from the locomotives. At G3’s berth/dock are installed 3x loaders that move the grain (max capacity 6500 tons per hour) onto the ship. G3 Terminal Vancouver is a joint-venture between Western Stevedoring Company Ltd and G3 Global Holdings - a joint-venture between Bunge Ltd (US-based agribusiness and food company) and SALIC Canada Ltd (subsidiary of SALIC-Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company).
Despite the Coronavirus crisis, 2020 became a record-breaking year in Vancouver Port's 108-year history by revenues (~USD 50 million / ~EUR 42M) or 15% increase over 2019. Moved through the seaport were 7+ million MT (metric tonnes) of commodities, 5,4+ million MT of grain, 0,3+ million MT of copper concentrate, 2700+ wind turbines, ~90,000 automobiles.
For season 2022 (April 10 thru November 2) the cruise port handled 307 ship calls (+6,5% over 2019's 288 visits/~85% from homeported vessels, including 10x maiden calls and 18x shorepower berthings) and ~815,000 tourists.
2023 (April 12th thru October 24th) was Port Vancouver's record year, with booked a total of 332 cruise ship berthings (~9% increase over 2022) and ~1,25 million tourists (+54% over 2022 and +10% over 2019).
In October 2023, Seaspan Vancouver Drydock (in North Vancouver/on 203 Esplanade E) received permit approval from the Port Authority to extend its drydock facilities and expand the infrastructure in order to be able to provide services (ship repairs and maintenance works) to larger vessels. The project included the extension of Seaspan's water lot by 130 ft/40 m and the addition of two new drydocks (smaller) plus a floating pontoon, located to the west of the old drydocks. The project's completion was slated for 2024-Q4.
Vancouver cruise terminal
Canada's Government established Port Metro Vancouver (locode CAVAN) in January 2008. Today, the Port is ranked North America's fourth-largest and Canada's largest by annually handled tonnage. Port Vancouver is in western Canada, at British Colombia’s southwestern corner. Its cruise schedule lists voyages from spring through fall, with vessels departing from Canada Place Ship Terminal.
The Terminal's address is "Canada Place Pier, 99 Canada Place Vancouver, BC, Canada".
Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal
The Canada Place Vancouver terminal was inaugurated on April 28, 1986. The facility's design features 5 sail-shaped roofs. Except the building, other facilities include VINCI Car Park, Port Metro Office, World Trade Center Office, Pan-Pacific Hotel.
At Canada Place Terminal are available restrooms, baggage trolleys, a snack shop. From the Terminal are directly accessed ship berths North (length 274 m / 900 ft), East (506 m / 1660 ft) and West (326 m / 1070 ft).
In May 2015, Canada Place Vancouver became the world's first cruise terminal with a total of 10x BorderXpress APC kiosks (abbrev "Automated Passport Control"). The project was a collaboration of Port Metro Vancouver and the Vancouver Airport Authority.
- In comparison to the traditional clearance process, the new computerized kiosks increased 4 times the terminal's passenger processing rates. The terminal's US Customs and Border Protection area is utilized prior to ship embarkation on Canada to Alaska cruise itineraries.
- Cruise tourists using BorderXpress APCs at Port Metro Vancouver proceed directly to the self-service kiosks in the passenger processing area. Then they simply have to follow the on-screen instructions, scan their passports and answer some customs declaration questions. Then embarking passengers receive a receipt that confirms their information and continue to a US Customs officer to finalize their processing.
- The overall result was increased efficiency, less congestion, faster customs processing and shorter wait times.
- Cruise passengers eligible for BorderXpress APCs are American and Canadian passport holders, as well as US Permanent Residents.
- The service is available at no cost to the user and pre-registration is not required.
Cruise terminal luggage storage and delivery
For cruise ship passengers in Vancouver, PorterGenie offers the only curbside luggage pick-up/delivery and storage service. Pick-up and delivery locations can be anywhere: Vancouver International Airport, hotels in the Metro Vancouver area, train and bus stations, etc. PorterGenie can pick-up your luggage from anywhere in Metro Vancouver, store as long as you need, and deliver it back to you anywhere you like.
You can use PorterGenie to transport your luggage from the airport to Canada Place Terminal or the other way around. You can schedule service online at www.portergenie.com or call PorterGenie toll-free at 1-888-411-5260. No payment is required for scheduling and cancellations are free. You are encouraged to schedule in advance before the busy season.
Ballantyne Pier Terminal
The Ballantyne terminal is located on 851 Centennial Road, Vancouver. It looks like a commercial dock after its 1995 renovation and extensions. Amenities include luggage carts, restrooms, snack concessions, security and taxi ranks. The berth is only one – East, 1200 ft.
- Address: Ballantyne Pier, 655 Centenniel Road, Vancouver, BC, Canada
- Parking:$15 Canadian daily ($10 US – depends on exchange rate).
- Vancouver's second cruise terminal (Ballantyne Pier) ceased operations in 2014.
Vancouver tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
Harbour Center Tower: enjoy beautiful city panorama from the 581 ft roof.
Gastown: located at the old Vancouver, nice and quiet place for a coffee.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden: the perfect equilibrium located at the city center, blended with the four elements, architecture and rock, plants and water.
Stanley Park: enjoy the native American Totem Poles and the Vancouver Aquarium in the biggest North America urban park.
Vancouver Aquarium: variety of sealife – dolphins, beluga whales, sea turtles and sea lions
Capilano Suspension Bridge: located over Capilano river, hundreds of feet tall.
Grouse Mountain: enjoy Wildlife Refuge situated on 5 acre with its wolves and bears.
Port Vancouver cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Vancouver, BC Canada. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
|11 March, 2024|
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