The Cruise Industry Opportunity project was initiated by the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) and outlines opportunities for Indigenous entrepreneurs, bands, and organizations wishing to benefit from the growing cruise industry. The ITAC Chair, ITAC Executive and all ITAC members thank Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada for funding this important project.

Canada’s cruise industry is both successful and thriving, with significant growth predicted in the next few years.  There are many regions across Canada with strong cruise ship participation, including Pacific Coast (Alaska), Atlantic Canada, and the Saint Lawrence Seaway.  Although with much smaller numbers, the Great Lakes region also shows potential for growth in the future. Canada’s Arctic has been welcoming smaller vessels over the years, but any future growth would need to be managed carefully to protect and respect the environment and Inuit communities.

Canada’s cruise industry holds many opportunities for Indigenous entrepreneurs, bands, and organizations located in, or close to, ports.  These include offering land excursions, onboard cultural performances, onboard sales of arts & crafts, and more.  While the cruise industry has immense potential for Indigenous tourism providers and products in development, the market is very complex and it can be difficult to recognize and understand the numerous opportunities and economic benefits available.

This project’s goal was to provide the insight and tools needed to better understand and work with the cruise industry.  Working with the cruise industry is an intricate process and has many operators shy about proceeding with this opportunity.  This tool will provide an in-depth understanding of the opportunities that need to be considered, prepared, and marketed to the cruise lines. Organizations using this tool will be able to:

  • Explore the map tool and review opportunities by clicking on a region or a port
  • Understand the market size and cruise lines by port
  • Understand the current opportunities within the Indigenous communities by port
  • Understand future opportunities for Indigenous tourism experiences by port
  • Find out about industry size and trends
  • Get a tool box on how to develop an export-ready product for the cruise lines
  • Understand the network of industry partners working jointly to service the cruise lines

Project Partner

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada


Overview of the Cruise Ship Industry in Canada.