Port of Vancouver reports record-breaking 2023 cruise season

Port of Vancouver reports record-breaking 2023 cruise season

The Port of Vancouver

The Port of Vancouver has welcomed an estimated 1.25 million cruise passengers in 2023

The Port of Vancouver in Canada welcomed an estimated 1.25 million cruise guests in the 2023 season, marking a 54 per cent increase from 2022 and setting a new passenger record.

According to the port, this record number of passengers was driven by ship occupancy rates returning to pre-pandemic levels by averaging 95 per cent throughout the season and peaking at an average of 96 per cent over the summer.

Princess Cruises’ Sapphire Princess opened the port’s 2023 season in April and Holland America Line’s Koningsdam closed it with a departure on 24 October. In total, the port hosted a record 332 ship visits during the season, up nine per cent compared to 307 visits in 2022. This included inaugural port calls from six vessels: Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Norwegian Encore, Royal Caribbean International’s Brilliance of the Seas, Silversea Cruises’ Silver Whisper, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Hanseatic Nature, Hurtigruten’s Fridtjof Nansen, and Seabourn’s Seabourn Venture.

“We are honoured to have been part of the Port of Vancouver’s biggest cruise season ever, with 25 per cent of guests sailing on five Holland America Line ships,” said Beth Bodensteiner, the cruise line’s chief commercial officer. “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.”

Nearly 75 per cent of all cruise calls to the port this season were shore power enabled, compared to 50 per cent in 2019. The Port of Vancouver became the first port in Canada, and the third in the world, to introduce shore power for cruise ships and is working with partners achieve its goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable port.

“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 world-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.

“Indications based on preliminary bookings are that the 2024 cruise season will see a similar number of cruise ship visits, demonstrating the underlying strength and popularity of the cruise industry in Vancouver.”

By Laura Hyde
24 October 2023