The MV Star Princess altered the Nanaimo skyline Thursday when it made its first port of call on a late-season cruise from Vancouver to Los Angeles.
More than 2,600 passengers disembarked from the ship, owned and operated by Princess Cruises, for destinations in and around Nanaimo, bringing what Bernie Dumas, president and CEO of the Nanaimo Port Authority, described as a late-season boost for the central Island. It’s the second Princess Cruises ship to visit this year and 2016 marks a return to Nanaimo for the cruise line, which had stopped paying calls to Nanaimo several years ago.
“It’s good news for the city to have the Princess Cruises visit,” Dumas said. “We’re working hard and we have several other carriers looking at Nanaimo.”
Dumas expects efforts at attracting new passenger carriers will pay off and said direct passenger feedback indicates they give high ratings to Island hospitality. He said passengers look for preferred cruise destinations and describe Nanaimo as a one of the world’s highly desirable destinations that passengers will want to return to.
The MV Star Princess is a grand-class cruise liner with a length of 290 metres and a 36-metre beam. It can accommodate up to 3,100 passengers and has a crew of 1,250.
The ship arrived at 7 a.m. and is scheduled to depart at 6 p.m. on to continue its seven-night wine country coastal cruise with stops in that include Seattle, Astoria, Ore., and San Francisco.