Pacific Coast & Alaska



Vancouver is the only Alaskan homeport offering both one-way and roundtrip cruises through the picturesque Inside Passage, along the west coast of British Columbia. Cruise lines either do roundtrip cruises that originate from Vancouver or one-way cruises that sail between Vancouver and an Alaska port – usually Seward or Whittier. Other cruises that involve Vancouver are from California or the Pacific Northwest. Vancouver is Canada’s busiest cruise destination, receiving 667,000 passengers in 2012. In 2013, the city welcomed 812,400 passengers, on 235 calls, representing a 22% increase in passenger volumes over 2012. The outlook for 2014 and beyond is positive and slight increases in passenger volumes are forecasted.

Cruise Season

April to October . Link To Port Schedule.

Time In Destination

Passengers embark / disembark and opportunities exist before and after the cruises. Often passengers book pre / post packages or excursions before same-day flight departures. For same-day departures, cruise passengers have about 4 to 8 hours to experience a Vancouver-based activity.

Average Onshore Spending

$313 person (This rate includes hotel nights for pre / post packages plus activities, attractions and transportation.)

Snapshot Of Existing Shore Excursions

Pre / post Packages

  • Pre / post packages include a wide selection of hotels in the downtown core of Vancouver and activities
  • Pre / post packages are also offered to Victoria, Whistler or the Okanagan region

Activities prior or after a cruise

  • Passengers who are about to go on a cruise or are coming back from a cruise have 4 -6 hours to spend in Vancouver.
  • Successful onshore activities include city tours with West Coast Sightseeing Tours, Landsea Tours or Rockwood Adventures. These sightseeing companies specialize in city tours specifically for cruise passengers who do not have many hours to spend. These companies handle luggage, airport transportation and have specially designed tours for anywhere between 2 and 5 hours.

Opportunities For Indigenous Experiences

Certain experiences, such as the Bill Reid Art Gallery of Northwest Coast Art and Klahowya Village, receive business from visitors who have been on a cruise to Alaska or are going on a cruise. These experiences are included on hop-on/hop-off sightseeing tours, or visitors get referred by the staff of visitor centres or hotels.

Pre / Post Packages:

Offering an Indigenous experience as part of a pre / post cruise package is probably the first step when targeting the Vancouver cruise market. Package inclusions can vary from eco adventures to galleries, walking tours, food experiences, dance performances, story-telling or art studio tours. Opportunities also exist for Indigenous-owned hotels in Vancouver’s downtown core.

It is essential to work with receptive tour operators that specialize in pre / post cruise package to have your experience included.

Offering an Indigenous experience as a stand-alone activity to the cruise lines might prove to be a difficult undertaking. Options for successful product distribution may include:

  • Working with already established sightseeing companies to get your experiences included as part of their tours
  • Working with Port Metro Vancouver to have experiences offered and sold at Canada Place
  • Working with the Tourism Vancouver Visitor Centre staff to ensure your experience is top of mind
  • Selling authentic arts and crafts at galleries near Canada Place where cruise passengers would be able to walk to or where hop-on / hop-off busses stop. For example, Bill Reid Art Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, Coastal First Peoples Fine Arts Gallery or Klahowya Village.

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

Aboriginal Tourism BC

Teresa Ryder – Project Specialist

Tourism Vancouver

Trevor Campbell – Manager, Sales & Market Development

Port Metro Vancouver

Bradley Trenham-Old