The Nanaimo Port Authority is expecting five calls and 12,000 passengers this year, according to Bernie Dumas, president and CEO. The callers will include Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian and Princess, in addition to Hapag Lloyd’s Europa carrying all German passengers.
Last year, Nanaimo posted six calls with 13,078 passengers and 5,776 crew. The largest ship to call was the Explorer of the Seas with 3,350 passengers and 1,220 crew.
The season has gotten longer with the Star Princess calling for the first time in October last year, and another call is scheduled for October this year.
“We are maturing as a port of call and finding ways to provide amenities for the specific needs of passengers,” Dumas noted. “We provide tourism guides at the terminal and throughout downtown.”
Nanaimo also offers free shuttle service to and from downtown and provides multi-passenger golf carts transporting passengers with mobility challenges from the ship to the terminal.
“The city of Nanaimo embraces cruise passengers,” Dumas continued. “We have a state of the art terminal, expedient customs clearance, and will accommodate one ship at a time, so there is no competition from other callers, no congestion.
“Our tours range from regional shore excursions in Central Vancouver Island to self-guided tours of the city.”
Nanaimo has hosted cruise passengers since 2002 and invested $24.5 million in its cruise terminal and dock, and has developed a hospitality and shore excursion program designed for cruise passengers.
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