Nanaimo is planning a “warm island welcome” for one of the largest cruise ships to visit, Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas, which will call Wednesday May 18 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the central island, according to Bernie Dumas, president and CEO of the Nanaimo Port Authority.

“The Explorer of the Seas is one of the largest cruise ships calling in British Columbia with an impressive passenger capacity. If you are anywhere near the Nanaimo Harbour you won’t miss her,” he said.

Dumas continued: “As usual, passengers will be enjoying local and regional shore excursions to the Alberni and Cowichan Valleys, including the Parksville - Qualicum area. As passengers arrive in the cruise ship terminal, Tourism Nanaimo Travel Counsellors will greet them with Nanaimo Bar samplings and point the way to photo opportunities with the RCMP in Red Serge, the Big Tub and displays of racing tubs from the Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society. Cannon firings at our historic Bastion are scheduled for 11 a.m., noon, and 1 p.m.

“Passengers can also take in the popular farmer’s market in the Pioneer Waterfront Plaza and a Classic Car Show in Diana Krall Plaza from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Complimentary shuttles transport passengers from the cruise terminal through downtown where they engage local volunteers organized by the DNBIA (Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association). Contact with local culture include the downtown area, museums, galleries, eateries and walking tours which receive positive passenger feedback on a consistent basis,” Dumas said.
 
“Economically, each cruise visit has an immediate impact of over $250,000 to the region. Also, passengers seriously consider our destination for a future multi-day visit.”

The Nanaimo Port Authority is one of 18 Port Authorities across Canada, established under the Canada Marine Act, to promote and support the National, Regional and local economy and to ensure a safe and secure harbour for cargo operations.