The arrival of the Norwegian Jewel in Vancouver today marks the last stop on a Pacific Coastal itinerary that visited three of five active BC ports:  Nanaimo, Victoria and Vancouver. The Norwegian Jewel is one of 18 vessels from nine cruise lines that will call at two or more BC ports in 2013.

The BC port communities of Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Prince Rupert, Victoria and Vancouver will enjoy a total increase of 75% this year over last year in the number of cruise itineraries with two or more calls to BC ports, with cruise lines offering 35 different itineraries in total.
“BC cruise ports provide cruise passengers with a unique and appealing product including itineraries through Canada’s stunning Inside Passage. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity only offered by BC,” said Carmen Ortega, chair of Cruise BC. “The growth we are seeing for 2013 translates into an economic boost for the region, bringing additional economic activity to local restaurants, hotels, shops and tours.”

In addition to the significant increase in BC itineraries, BC also benefits from the economic contribution of the cruise sector on the British Columbian and Canadian economies. An economic impact study released jointly in March by the Cruise Lines International Association – North West and Canada, Cruise BC and other cruise associations across Canada, shows that BC ports continue to be the largest cruise region in Canada, accounting for 57% of the Canadian cruise traffic and welcoming nearly 1.2 million passengers in 2012. Vancouver and Victoria are the first and second largest cruise ports in Canada respectively.

The study also found that BC accounted for approximately two thirds of the national economic impacts of the Canadian cruise industry in 2012, with $1.56 billion in total industry outputs and 12,252 jobs paying $532 million in wage income. Direct spending by cruise lines, passengers and crew amounted to $790 million in BC in 2012.  British Columbia enjoyed the highest average expenditures across Canada for both passengers and crew, spelling good news for businesses across BC.

“British Columbia’s ports and destinations play a vital role in this spectacular cruising region” said Greg Wirtz, Cruise Lines International Association’s president for North West and Canada. “With an abundance of new and authentic destination experiences, British Columbia represents a natural growth opportunity for the cruise industry.”