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Decision expected soon on creation of second Metro Vancouver cruise ship terminal

Will those massive cruise ships have a new place to dock in Metro Vancouver?
The 2019 season saw several new cruise lines coming to Vancouver including Cunard Cruise Line with the Queen Elizabeth, Viking Ocean Cruises with the Viking Orion and Azamara Cruises with the Azamara Quest. Photo via Pixabay

We should finally know this year whether Metro Vancouver could be home to a new cruise ship terminal.

The Port of Vancouver has been looking into the feasibility of building a second Lower Mainland cruise ship terminal on the banks of the Fraser River, already having conducted a preliminary study looking at potential sites in Delta or Richmond.

Port president and CEO Robin Silvester said their analysis is driven by growth in cruise volumes and cruise lines using bigger ships.

They’re currently having discussions with stakeholders including municipalities and First Nations.

“Were absolutely working on it but it’s safe to say we’re still at the feasibility stage looking at sites along the river. We’re hoping to have something more to say sometime over the course of this year,” he said.  

Silvester previously noted that building a man-made island, as would be the case for the proposed Terminal 2 container facility at Roberts Bank, would be an enormous undertaking, so a cruise ship terminal on existing land along the Fraser River could be a good option.

In 2019, Vancouver welcomed more than one million cruise passengers on 288 ships, a 22 per cent increase in passenger volume over 2018.

Cruise is a key economic driver for the region and each ship that visits Vancouver stimulates about $3 million in direct activity to the local economy, according to the port.

However, larger ships are making it difficult for the port to use Canada Place.

In 2018, the Norwegian Bliss, the largest cruise ship to ever dock in Vancouver, carried over 4,000 passengers.

Since the Lions Gate Bridge has a low clearance, the ship could only reach Vancouver during low tide.

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