Taxis are lined up and ready but it could be difficult to get one in downtown Vancouver as a record number of cruise ship passengers are expected to arrive Wednesday and by this weekend.
Three cruise ships will be docking at the Canada Place terminal in the Port of Vancouver today – the Celebrity Solstice, the Volendam and the Radiance of the Seas – bringing 12,800 passengers in total.
Then on Saturday, May 20, a record number will arrive aboard the Emerald Princess, the Star Princess and the Nieuw Amsterdam, with 15,800 passengers in total.
WATCH: Record number of cruise ship passengers descend on Vancouver
Cruise passengers are expected to disembark between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. at Canada Place, meaning higher than normal traffic volumes are expected in the downtown core, along with an increased demand for taxis and public transportation.
Members of the Vancouver Police are on site helping to manage traffic and pedestrians to avoid congestion.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, the City of Vancouver, Tourism Vancouver, the Vancouver Convention Centre and Vancouver taxi companies are also working together to help make the passengers’ disembarkation as smooth as possible.
It is expected to be a banner year for the cruise ship industry.
Vancouver expects to welcome approximately 840,000 cruise passengers in 2017 on 237 vessel visits, which is a two per cent increase in passenger volume over 2016.
The cruise ship industry estimates an average of almost $3 million for each vessel is pumped into country’s economy. The 2016 cruise ship season directly generated nearly 7,000 jobs across Canada, $300 million in wages and contributed $840 million to the national GDP.
Passengers on the cruise ships are from all over the world but more than 60 per cent come from the United States.
|Peak High Volume Days||Ships at Canada Place||Estimated passengers per day|
|May 6, 2017||Star Princess / Coral Princess / Nieuw Amsterdam||13,500 passengers|
|May 13, 2017||Emerald Princess / Coral Princess / Europa / Nieuw Amsterdam||15,400 passengers|
|May 17, 2017||Celebrity Solstice / Volendam / Radiance of the Seas||12,800 passengers|
|May 20, 2017||Emerald Princess / Star Princess / Nieuw Amsterdam||15,800 passengers|
The busy previous cruise ships seasons in the past have spurred many to call for ride-sharing services to be allowed in B.C.
In March, the B.C. government announced ride-sharing services, including Uber and Lyft, will be offered in the province starting this holiday season.
Although there is still a lot of legislation to be put in place to make it a reality.