Tidal wave of cruise ship passengers expected this weekend

If you’re thinking of heading downtown over the weekend, you might want to pack some patience.

The Port of Vancouver is expecting high volumes of cruise ship passengers on Saturday, Sept. 23 and Monday, Sept. 25. Both days will see three cruise ships docking at Canada Place, bringing with them a large number of embarking and disembarking passengers.

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The port authority estimates 13,000 passengers on Saturday and 12,000 on Monday will be embarking and disembarking between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

“As a result, higher than normal traffic volumes are anticipated in the downtown core, along with increased demand for taxis and public transportation,” the port authority stated in a news release.

Cruise ship passengers are asked not to arrive at Canada Place cruise terminal prior to their scheduled embarkation time to avoid further congestion while disembarking passengers are leaving their ships.

“Given the significant number of passengers, the port authority is advising disembarking passengers to make transportation arrangements in advance.”

To help keep traffic flowing, the port authority will have additional staff on site for these two days to assist with any passengers inquiries. As well, Vancouver police will have its traffic authority staff on site to manage both vehicle traffic on the roads and pedestrian traffic at nearby crosswalks.

By the end of the year, the port authority expects to see approximately 840,000 cruise ship passengers on 237 vessel visits, a two per cent increase in passenger volume over last year.

On average, each vessel brings with it an average of close to $3 million in direct economic activity for the city.

jkerr@vancourier.com

@JessicaEKerr

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