Port to blame for cruise ship slowdown

Only two cruise liners will dock at our pricey new terminal this season and its marketing manager says they are not to blame.

To the Editor,

Re: Cruise ship market changing, cutting visits to Nanaimo port, Jan. 16.

Is the Nanaimo Port Authority out of it?

Only two cruise liners will dock at our pricey new terminal this season and its marketing manager says they are not to blame. He puts the fault on the cruise companies for changing their itineraries and he admits Nanaimo is simply a repositioning port and just an optional destination. What? We’re a throwaway port and you didn’t figure this out before spending $24 million of tax money.

In contrast, a whopping 214 vessels will be pulling into Victoria’s Ogden Point this year compared with 203 last year. And 244 ships will be docking in Vancouver, up from 235.

Bottom line, the Nanaimo Port Authority blew it.

It spent tens of millions of our provincial and federal dollars and constructed a dock, a welcome centre and spiffy new second floor administration offices on the waterfront where they can sit back and enjoy stupendous views, eat their lunch outside and even put a fishing pole in the water.

You may recall the port authority and other government types flew to cruise conventions, looked at tropic ports, and reported back that dozens of ships would soon be setting course for Nanaimo bars.

Now, three years later the terminal is a bust. Port authority staff admits ships are heading elsewhere because there’s not much for passengers to do here.

It has all been government hype from wannabe captains who are playing with other people’s money – ours.

R.C. StearmanNanaimo

 

To the Editor,

Re: Cruise ship market changing, cutting visits to Nanaimo port, Jan. 16.

I think people are missing the point about the lack of ships at the new cruise ship terminal.

The city talked up the cruise ship business on behalf of the Nanaimo Port Authority, because the terminal was really an excuse to build a brand-new, award-winning waterfront office with ocean views from every window.

Now the port authority has its new office, and I think they could honestly care less whether any ships come or not. In fact, cruise ships would only block the view and they would also mean long lines of people filing through the lower part of their office.

Brendan MillbankNanaimo

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