Home > Uncategorized > Recession chops Vancouver cruise ship traffic by a third

Recession chops Vancouver cruise ship traffic by a third

Almost a quarter of berthings in 2010 used shore power in lieu of diesel

By SCOTT SIMPSON, Vancouver Sun October 5, 2010

VANCOUVER — Cruise ship traffic and passengers dropped by about a third compared to last year, due to continuing recession in the United States, Port Metro Vancouver reported this week.

The 2010 cruise season ended Monday with the departure of Island Princess.

In all, 27 ships made 177 voyages in 2010 compared to 35 ships and 256 voyages in 2009.

The drop was anticipated as the fallout from a global economic collapse in 2008 continued to resonate, particularly in the United States, port spokeswoman Barbara Joy-Kinsella said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

“Cruises are often booked and paid for well in advance. So last year’s numbers remained high because there were cruises that had been booked earlier in 2008 before everything hit. Last year’s bookings were down, so this year’s cruises were down,” Joy-Kinsella said.

A turnaround is expected in 2011, according to a port news release which notes that the Disney Wonder will home port in Vancouver for its inaugural Alaska season.

Oceania Cruises will debut in this market with its Regatta home porting in Vancouver and Crystal Cruises will return to Alaska with nine port calls in Vancouver, the metro port authority said.

On a positive note, six of the ships operating out of Vancouver during the April to October cruise season – accounting for nearly 25 per cent of total voyages – took up the opportunity to plug into the BC Hydro grid while berthed in lieu of running their diesel engines to generate on-board electricity.

The port has been pursuing the program since 2005, installing plug-in power terminals at two of three Canada Place berths near the end of the 2009 cruise season.

This year, four Princess ships and two Holland America ships availed themselves of the service – as Vancouver became the first Canadian port to offer the alternative, and only the third in the world.

“We are pleased to bring new and innovative sustainability programs to our port, and to work with industry leaders to reduce their carbon footprint here in Vancouver,” port president and CEO Robin Silvester said in the release. “This shore power initiative alone has reduced almost 3,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2010.”

Joy-Kinsella added that the port’s Eco Action for Shipping program provides economic incentives to ships that adopt shore power.

“It basically is a discount on the fees that ships would pay to come into the harbour if they do any number of things to be more environmentally friendly,” Joy-Kinsella said. “If they connect through shore power we consider that to be a gold standard of an effort so their harbour dues are reduced by 50 per cent.”

The port will look at increasing the availability of shore power to keep apace of demand for it.


© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

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