Highlights of the 2006 cruise season include:
The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority hosted 182 ship calls, carrying 334,570 revenue passengers. Victoria's port calls have grown 54% between 2003 and 2006.
The Port of Prince Rupert has rapidly developed into a key destination for cruise tourism with a total of 48 ship calls and 63,767 revenue passengers in 2006.
Nanaimo Port Authority hosted 51 ship calls and 53,160 passengers.
Vancouver Port Authority recorded 838,500 revenue passengers on 253 vessel calls through the Port of Vancouver. The Port of Vancouver was recently named the most passenger-friendly cruise port in North America by London-based Berlitz travel publishing company, with top marks for user friendliness and luggage handling.
Campbell River will be welcoming its first ships in 2007 with the completion of their Wei Wai Kum Cruise Ship Terminal.
The success of the 2006 cruise season was also attributed in part to new itineraries featuring cruises to various BC ports in September and October aboard Celebrity Cruises' vessel Mercury. The itineraries included ports of call at Vancouver, Victoria, and Nanaimo. As a result of the program's first year of success, Celebrity Cruises is again offering the cruises in the Fall of 2007. A survey of passengers aboard these cruises demonstrated top marks for BC ports and destinations, with nine out of 10 passengers rating their overall cruise experience at 4 or 5 on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 as poor and 5 as excellent).
Looking Ahead to the 2007 Season:
Campbell River's Wei Wai Kum Cruise Ship Terminal is ready to welcom its first cruise port-calls in the 2007 season. After a very successful inaugural visit on June 5, 2007, the Regent Seven Seas Mariner will be making four stops this season.
The Port of Vancouver continues to offer cruise passengers more ships and departure dates to choose from than any other port. The Port will welcom 33 ships in 2007 at its two cruise terminals, Canada Place and Ballantyne Pier. With the U.S. Direct Program now in its third year of operation, Vancouver reps anticipate more passengers will opt for the quicker and easier transfers between Vancouver Airport and their cruise ship.
Victoria continues to be a leading cruise ship service centre. This is evidenced by the five large cruise ships that will be going into local area dry-docks, and the 14 pocket cruise ships scheduled to visit the spectacular Inner Harbour. The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is anticipating an estimated 324,000 visitors on 20 different cruise ships making 163 calls to the Ogden Point Terminal during the season.
Prince Rupert Port Authority is projecting more than a 75% jump in cruise passengers and nearly 50% in cruise ship calls in 2007. Not only are new ships scheduled to make port calls on more days, the average length of their visit will be longer.
The Port of Nanaimo continues to be an attractive destination for cruise ships travelling Canada's Inside Passage. Increases seen in the past few years will continue in 2007 including 15 sailings.
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