The final cruise ship of the 2023 season, Holland America Line’s Koningsdam, will depart from the Canada Place cruise terminal at the Port of Vancouver on Tuesday, marking the end of a robust year for the local cruise industry, according to a press release.
The Port of Vancouver is expected to have welcomed an estimated 1.25 million passengers in 2023, a new record and a 54 percent increase compared to 2022.
This includes 15 of Canada Place’s 20 busiest days ever for cruise passengers, all occurring in the past six months.
There were 332 cruise ship calls between April and October 2023, a new record for the Canada Place cruise terminal and an increase of 9%percent compared to 307 visits in 2022.
“Cruise returned to Vancouver emphatically this year after several seasons impacted by the global pandemic-with 2023 seeing record passenger numbers, near-record cruise ship visits and the Canada Place terminal getting further international recognition as a wor1d-class cruise facility,” said Peter Xotta, vice president of operations and supply chain at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, the federal agency mandated to enable Canada’s trade through the Port of Vancouver.
Cruise ship occupancy rates averaged 95 percent for the season and peaked at an average of 96 percent over the summer, the port said, as occupancy rates returned to pre pandemic levels.
“The cruise sector’s strong performance this year has been a critical catalyst for the local tourism and hospitality industries-supporting countless local jobs and businesses. I’d like to thank our partners, including Ceres Terminals Canada, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and cruise lines for their hard work in ensuring that this busy season-which included an incredible 15 of Canada Place’s 20 busiest days ever-went smoothly,” said Xotta.
Holland America Line will join the port authority tomorrow, October 24, to celebrate the Koningsdam’s departure and mark the end of a successful cruise season.
“We are honoured to have been part of the Port of Vancouver’s biggest cruise season ever, with 25 percent of guests sailing on five Holland America Line ships,” said Beth Bodensteiner, chief commercial officer for Holland America Line. “We see this as further evidence that the cruise industry has rebounded in a remarkable way. We’re proud to call Vancouver a homeport and look forward to another great season in 2024.”