In reading some of the local news in Vancouver , Victoria , Seattle for 2010 it is evident that these three major cruise hubs are competing with each other for a share of what is a limited number of the major cruise ships per Alaska season.
Below are the links to the three ports used for majority of the Alaska Cruises
http://www.victoriaharbour.org/cruiseinfo.php Victoria, BC Canada about 229 visits this year
http://www.portmetrovancouver.com/about/cruiseandtourism.aspx Vancouver, BC Canada , about 215 visits this year
http://www.portseattle.org/seaport/cruise/ Seattle , Washington USA
Quote: “In 2010 we expect 223 cruise ship visits and an estimated 858,000 passengers”
In gross numbers we are dealing with about 230 – 300+ sailings.
So far , in Victoria we have had about 35 ships in to the port and now we (May 27, 2010) are having the 3 to 4 ships a day about three times a week.
On a weekend, of the 3 – 4 ships, about 3 would dock at 6 -7pm and leave at midnight while the other would dock around 9am and stay till about 11pm.
In 2009 Princess and others decided for 2010 to reposition themselves to use Seattle as a return base instead of Vancouver for a number of reasons, Alaska passenger head tax, economy downturn, less Airfare costs for passengers doing a one way cruise trip. Now majority of trips are return to Seattle allowing the average passenger to be able to have a longer cruise by reduced airfare. Course Princess would like to expand its cruise / tour packages. In this area Vancouver is used as one of its one way voyages to / from Whittier Alaska.
Holland America use both Vancouver and Seattle as bases and Victoria comes out ahead because of the USA Jones Act requiring ships to make one stop in a foreign country.
Smaller ports like Campbell River , Nanaimo in BC are competing to have passengers visit their areas vs. areas in Alaska.
Each visit of a ship is almost a million dollars for the main ports in trade and tourist spending.
With Disney cruise wanting to homeport (Disney Wonder) in summer 2011 in Vancouver we can expect an improvement as Disney is hoping to get a handle on the family market. As they have a unique product it should prove a major change in how the other lines provide services to families.
Another line that wil operate via Vancouver will be Crystal Cruises.