The Port of Vancouver announced it welcomed an estimated 1.25 million passengers in 2023, a new record and a 54 per cent 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 per cent 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 world-class cruise facility,” said Peter Xotta, vice president of operations and supply chain at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.
Cruise ship occupancy rates, which are a measure of how full each visiting ship is, averaged 95 per cent for the season and peaked at an average of 96 per cent over the summer, as occupancy rates returned to pre-pandemic levels. This year was the first full season without any COVID-19 related restrictions, following the gradual easing of federal travel restrictions in 2022.
“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.
The Canada Place cruise terminal at the Port of Vancouver was recently recognized as North America’s Leading Cruise Port 2023 by World Travel Awards and North America’s Best Cruise Terminal in the World Cruise Awards.