Pacific Coast & Alaska



Nanaimo is one of the oldest and largest cities on Vancouver Island. Known as the hub city because of its central location and easy access from both land and sea, it has become one of the most vibrant and diverse communities in BC. Nanaimo has been welcoming cruises since 2011. The port enjoyed a 34% increase in passengers from 2012, hosting 12,400 visitors at its new terminal during the 2013 cruise season. Two cruise calls are scheduled for the 2014 season a drastic decrease over 2013. However, one of the ships scheduled to arrive will bring over 3,000 passengers in September. Around the two cruise visits, the community will be coordinating special events welcoming the cruise passengers to Nanaimo and the region.

Cruise Season

April to October . Link To Port Schedule.

Time In Destination

up to 10 hours

Average Onshore Spending

$56 per person

Typical Cruise Lines Visiting The Port

Celebrity Cruises |  Norwegian Cruise Line |  Princess Cruises

Snapshot Of Existing Shore Excursions

  • Winery tours to the Cowichan Valley
  • Tours to Cathedral Grove and Alberni Pacific Steam Train
  • Tours to Milner Gardens and the Wildlife Recovery Centre
  • Tours to the Parkville Area

Opportunities For Indigenous Experiences

Cruise lines stay up to 10 hours in the Port of Nanaimo allowing enough time for exclusive shore excursions involving transfers by seaplane to some of the remote areas for bear-watching or whale-watching. Some of the experiences offered could include visits to Campbell River or Alert Bay.

Experiences and Attractions:

  • Traditional food experiences on Saysutshun (Newcastle Island)
  • Guided walking / forest tours or kayaking tours on Saysutshun
  • Experiences that include: storytelling, guided walking tours, eco tours
  • Cultural welcome / performance by the Snuneymuxw First Nation
  • Guided eco-tours (whale-watching / bear-viewing) in Campbell River; package needs to include flights by seaplane
  • Cultural excursion to other near-by communities by seaplane (e.g. Alert Bay)

Arts and Crafts

  • Selling authentic arts and crafts at the welcoming plaza


Industry partners that can help develop experiences for cruise lines in your region

Aboriginal Tourism BC

Teresa Ryder – Project Specialist

Nanaimo Port Authority

Douglas Peterson – Manager of Marketing & Sales

Tourism Nanaimo

Chelsea Barr – Destination Marketing Officer