Increased cruise activity good for BC economy


The British Columbia economy has enjoyed significant benefits from the growing cruise industry, which saw the 2013 cruise season show a considerable increase of 11% in passengers over the previous season.

More than 1.3 million passengers visited the BC communities of Nanaimo, Prince Rupert, Vancouver and Victoria on a total of 455 calls in 2013. This cruise activity generated an estimated total economic impact of $1.6 billion to the BC economy. Direct passenger and crew spending totaled $228 million and cruise line spending was $422 million in BC, while overall business tax contributions were $59 million.

BC is the largest cruise region in Canada, accounting for over 50% of all Canadian cruise traffic, with Vancouver and Victoria leading as the first and second largest cruise ports in Canada.

“The cruise industry in BC promotes a healthy provincial economy by supporting approximately 8,400 full time jobs in 2013,” noted Cruise BC chair Rebecca Penz. “The 455 calls to the four BC ports boost many sectors within the province including tourism operations, marine trades, and retail and restaurant businesses.”

Economic impacts and benefits were felt throughout the province’s cruise ports in 2013:

!!! Nanaimo enjoyed a 34% increase in passengers from 2012, hosting 12,400 visitors at its new terminal during the 2013 cruise season. The Nanaimo Port Authority hosted four Norwegian Cruise Line ships, bringing a record 8,703 visitors into the community in less than one week.

!!! The Prince Rupert Port Authority had a successful 2013 cruise season, with passenger volume growth of 2,700 over the previous season, representing a 76% increase. The community saw visits from 5,000 passengers. Prince Rupert continues to offer attractive and well-received tour products to its cruise passengers, with tour products operating at approximately 80% capacity in 2013 and receiving positive feedback.

!!! In 2013, Port Metro Vancouver welcomed 812,400 passengers, on 235 calls, representing a 22% increase in passenger volumes over 2012. A total of 17 ships were home ported in Vancouver in 2013, including the return of four vessels.

Furthering the port’s commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of port operations, a third shore power connection was installed at Canada Place terminal through a joint effort between the Port, the federal and provincial governments and Disney and Holland America cruise lines. A total of 83 vessel calls connected to shore power in 2013, an increase of nearly 40% over 2012.

!!! Victoria welcomed 203 cruise ships call at Ogden Point in 2013, bringing 481,733 passengers to the community. The Celebrity Solstice was the largest regular weekly caller to Ogden Point in Victoria’s history. A new model for the cruise shuttle service was offered, with the core service operated using transit buses where possible to reduce noise and emissions and improve accessibility for passengers with mobility challenges.

“While the 2013 season saw impressive increases in the number of cruise calls and passenger visits to BC, the 2014 outlook is also strong for BC ports,” said Penz. “With the cruise ship season on the horizon, the four BC ports are investing in infrastructure and preparing their facilities for another successful summer.”