Nanaimo Concentrates on ‘White Glove Service’

With 10,366 passengers and 4,450 crew last year, David Mailloux, manager of communications and public affairs for the Nanaimo Port Authority, said he was expecting similar numbers this year.

Among the callers will be the Explorer of the Seas, one of the largest ships in the Alaska market, calling on the Central Vancouver Island twice, on May 16 and again on Sept. 18.

“We have proven that we can handle large ships,” Mailloux said, pointing to the port’s “White Glove Service” from the moment the ship arrives, for passengers and for the overall operation, including security.

Challenged walkers are transported in golf carts from the ship to the terminal where they clear customs. Local tourism counselors are available to make recommendations based on what passengers are looking for during their morning or afternoon activities. There is no sales pressure, according to Mailloux, just information tailored to the inquiry.

While many passengers join shore excursions sold from the ship, others have the option to take a free shuttle to the downtown area. The shuttle runs continuously throughout the day with four stops at places of interest.

Volunteers are set up in tents and with identifiable T-shirts along the shuttle route to answer any questions.

There is free WiFi for crew; they can also hop on the shuttle.

Shore excursions range from urban historical walks to wine and craft brewery tours, marine biology, agriculture and a steam-engined train.

“We have consistently serviced cruise lines for 15 years and take this hospitality opportunity seriously. Our hospitality standard is ‘white glove’ at a minimum with well-trained local people who take pride in their community and the region,” Mailloux added.

“We embrace the opportunity to host cruise calls and work hard to deliver at every level of contact with passengers, the crew and the cruise lines.”

Get an in-depth, behind the scenes look at the North America cruise market and the ports that make it happen in the 2017-2018 Winter edition Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine. Subscribe today.

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