How long until cruise ships are too big to make it to Downtown Vancouver?

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – As the downtown core fills up with cruise passengers again this weekend, imagine all those tourists disembarking in say, Tsawwassen or Squamish instead.

There is a potential problem for the Port of Vancouver: The height of the Lions Gate Bridge.

The Vancouver landmark limits the size of cruise ships that can call on the city. Carmen Ortega with the Port of Vancouver is quick to point out the terminal at Canada Place can accept some of the very largest vessels currently on the Alaska market.

“You know, our marine operations department works very closely with the cruise lines to plan in advance.”

But as older and smaller ships are replaced, the industry is favouring ever-larger vessels. And the local cruise ship sector has raised concerns about how many will be able to clear the Lions Gate Bridge to be able to access the cruise terminal at Canada Place.

Ortega admits the Port is in the very early stages of considering a new site for the terminal.

“We’ve engaged a consultant to [conduct] a pre-feasibility study to look at potential sites for potentially a new cruise terminal.”

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