When the 2023 Alaska cruise season begins in April, the Port of Vancouver is expecting it to be only the start of a record-breaking season with hundreds of ship visits and potentially more than 1,000,000 passengers that will set sail from the busiest cruise port in Canada. Will you be one of them?
More than 330 Ship Visits Scheduled
The first ship of the season to visit the Port of Vancouver is scheduled to be Princess Cruises’ Sapphire Princess, arriving at the Canada Place cruise terminal on Wednesday, April 12. She will be quickly followed by Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Bliss and Holland America Line’s Koningsdam on Thursday, April 13.
Other cruise lines will follow, with Royal Caribbean’s first Alaska-bound ship, Brilliance of the Seas, arriving on Sunday, April 23; Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Solstice on Wednesday, May 3; Seabourn’s Seabourn Odyssey on Thursday, May 11; and Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Wonder on Monday, May 15.
Throughout the season, a total of 331 ship visits are scheduled for the port, including vessels from major mainstream lines, smaller luxury lines, expedition cruise operators, and small regional cruise lines.
In 2022, with the port open for the full summer season for the first time since 2019, Port of Vancouver saw 307 ship visits, making 2023 already looking to be a record-breaking year with 8% more visits already scheduled. It is possible that smaller or regional lines may still add visits this year, or if ships must divert from other ports of call for different reasons, more than the planned 331 visits may happen.
Passenger Counts Likely to Break Records
Another impressive number to consider is the passenger counts of the vessels planning to visit Vancouver. If all the ships were to be fully booked, more than 1.3 million travelers will pass through the port in 2023.
Travel restrictions such as vaccine mandates, pre-arrival testing, and ship capacity limits severely restricted cruise travelers when cautious visits began late in the summer of 2021, and lasted throughout much of the 2022 Alaska sailing season.
Because those restrictions ended on October 1, 2022, ships can sail with full berths for the entire 2023 season. This means more than double occupancy for many vessels, with Alaska a top family cruise destination and Vancouver an excellent starting or ending point for such sailings.
Several of the world’s largest cruise ships are scheduled for Vancouver visits, including Royal Caribbean’s Quantum-class Quantum of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas, both of which can host as many as 4,180 guests at double occupancy, or as many as 4,905 passengers when fully booked with all berths filled.
Individual cruise lines are also sending many of their larger vessels to Vancouver. Holland America Line’s Koningsdam, for example, is the largest ship in that fleet and the Pinnacle-class vessel can host 2,650 guests per sailing at double occupancy.
Sailing From Vancouver
Vancouver is the most populous city in British Columbia, offering visitors a diverse experience of cultures, art, history, music, and more.
As a cruise port, the city is both a homeport and a port of call, depending on the cruise line and exact itinerary. As a homeport, northbound one-way sailings may start in Vancouver, while southbound journeys end their voyages in the extraordinary city. Roundtrip voyages are also available from different cruise lines.
Located just 150 miles (241 kilometers) from Seattle, Washington, the port is also convenient for travelers who wish to fly to Seattle but prefer a cruise from Vancouver, as well as cruise fans living throughout the Pacific Northwest.