Vancouver braces for 300,000 cruise passenger loss this year


VANCOUVER – As the first ship of the season arrives, Vancouver’s cruise industry will likely suffer a pretty big loss in 2010.

Greg Wirtz is with Port Metro Vancouver. “Our passenger volumes were close to 900,000 last year and this year there will be about 600,000 so it’s a big loss.”

A lot of those passengers are heading through ports in Seattle or Victoria instead, though Wirtz expects those ports to feel the pinch in the coming years.

Part of the problem is what he calls ‘unfriendly laws’ for cruise companies in Alaska. Wirtz explains those laws are changing, and with Disney Cruise Lines making Vancouver its home port next year, the industry will likely take off again.

He says the Olympics, the Canada Line, and the new Shore Power system will attract business back to the city.