Cruise up 14 percent: Port marks the end of longest season

    VANCOUVER, Oct. 26 /CNW/ - When the Mercury sets sail on November 2nd, it
will mark the end of the longest cruise season in the Port of Vancouver's
history. With the passenger count an estimated 960,000, a 14 per cent increase
over 2006, and the number of sailings up by 8 per cent to 275, this year marks
a turning point after four years of declining passenger volumes.
    "This year has been an outstanding year for cruise at the Port of
Vancouver. We are delighted to be able to report positive growth in our cruise
sector," said Captain Gordon Houston, President and CEO of the Vancouver Port
Authority (VPA). The increase in passengers has been mainly attributed to
Celebrity's Mercury cruise ship choosing Vancouver as its homeport for the
season, and BC's growing tourism industry.
    Preliminary results of the 2007 Alaska passenger survey conducted by VPA
and Vancouver Airport Authority (YVR) also indicate that cruise passengers are
extremely satisfied with their overall experience at the Port's cruise
terminals. Ninety five percent of passengers were satisfied, awarding the Port
with an exceptional 4.6 rating out of 5, up from 4.5 in 2005.
    The success of the 2007 season is expected to continue into 2008 with
more initiatives planned to increase efficiencies and enhance the passenger
experience at the Port of Vancouver. VPA has reached an agreement with
Destination Media LLC to develop and implement state-of-the-art interactive
display screens in conjunction with their popular Port of Call - Alaska
guidebook at Canada Place and Ballantyne terminals at the beginning of the
2008 cruise season.
    Another highlight of the 2007 season was the success of the Port's
Harbour Dues Program, an environmental initiative that recognizes vessels that
are working to reduce the air emissions they discharge into the Lower Fraser
Valley air shed. "Reducing port-related emissions, such as those from marine
vessels, is a critical component in building a sustainable port. We commend
the support of our cruise lines for this important Port initiative," said Capt
Houston. Cruise ships qualified for the differentiated harbour dues rate
according to the technology and fuel options that they are using such as
bio-diesel and low-sulphur fuel.

    The Port of Vancouver is Canada's largest and most diversified port,
trading more than $53 billion in goods with more than 100 trading economies
annually. The cruise sector creates 13,500 jobs annually at the Port of
Vancouver. Every time a Vancouver-based cruise ship sets sail from our
harbour, it represents $2 million to the regional economy.

    The Mercury makes two final sailings this season, Saturday October 27th,
and Saturday November 2nd.

For further information:

For further information: Anne McMullin, Director, Corporate
Communications and Public Affairs, Vancouver Port Authority, (604) 665-9069
(office), (604) 665-9073 (fax), (778) 231-6978 (cellular),; For more information on any of these stories,
call (888) PORTVAN. Or, send an email to:

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