March 18, 2009

Carnival Cruises pulling out of Vancouver

Carnival Cruise Lines announced it is changing its homeport for Alaskan cruises to Seattle in 2010 and abandoning the Canadian city of Vancouver.

The company said it will operate 17 weeklong cruises aboard the next year from Seattle aboard the 2,124-passenger Carnival Spirit, CTV News reported.

Steve Pearce, vice president of Tourism Vancouver, told the broadcaster the city will lose nine departures, which each generate about $2 million worth of economic activity.

Carnival is going to be pulling nine sailings out of Vancouver, so that's about an $18 million hit to our local economy, he said.

The city has an average 270 sailings per year, Pearce said.

Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen told CTV via e-mail that the decision was made as the majority of Alaskan cruise passengers are U.S. citizens.

This new itinerary will provide our guests requiring air transportation with more convenient air options and significantly lower air costs, Gulliksen wrote.

Seattle is 137 miles south of Vancouver.