Ship passengers cruise through Alberni

The cruise ship Statendam arrives in Port Alberni from Victoria on Thursday morning. The is bound next for Astoria

They came, they saw, and by most accounts the 1,300 passengers from the cruise ship Statendam enjoyed their furlough in Port Alberni.

The 720-foot, 55,000-tonne ship returned to the Valley for the first time in two years on Thursday.

The ship arrived from Victoria and anchored in the harbour, where passengers were taxied ashore by the boat’s own water craft.

Up to two-thirds of the passengers came ashore, Port Alberni Port Authority manager Brad Madelung said.

After checking through a customs station throngs of passengers were greeted by chamber of commerce volunteers, including executive director Mike Carter.

“The fact the cruise line chose to come here makes us proud,” Carter said.

There wasn’t anything uniform about the passengers, who came from the Lower Mainland, Pacific Northwest and even from Port Alberni.

“There are more younger people than I thought,” Carter said.

Several passengers had travelled to Port Alberni on their way to Tofino.

“But this is their first time stopping and spending time here.”

More than 20 volunteer ambassadors wearing their signature yellow jackets were stationed about Harbour Quay handing out tourist guides and answering passenger’s questions.

There was little presence beyond the ambassadors at the Quay, however.

“Holland America wanted a low key approach,” Carter said.

Some passengers moseyed about town, but most, however, participated in one of five excursion packages.

The outings included a Pacific Rim bus tour, trip to Cathedral Grove, and waterfall tour.

Visitors moved the needle up a notch on the city’s economic barometer but it has to be taken in context, Carter said.

“It’s not a huge generator but it is good for the economy,” he said.

“Vancouver can get 20,000 (visitors) in a day and that’s a significant generator.”

The stream train rides and tours of Mclean Mill and Chase and Warren Winery may have been the most popular.

There were two separate trips to the mill with both attracting 80 passengers each.

There, passengers were given a tour of the facility, a demonstration of the mill, as well as a home made light lunch.

There was no problem accommodating that many people at the facility.

“We have the equipment, staff and volunteers to handle large numbers of people,” Malbon said.

“And we already handle bus excursions that come here from Nanaimo anyway.”

Whether or not the train and mill tours were the most popular isn’t known yet.

“I haven’t seen the hard numbers yet so I can’t say if we were the most popular tour or not,” mill manager Neil Malbon said.

“But people sure enjoyed themselves while they were here.”

By most accounts passengers enjoyed their stay, Madelung said at the end of the day.

“All indications are that things went smoothly – people enjoyed their stay,” Madelung said.

Some passengers had mobility issues, but the port authority was prepared.

“We had a golf cart on the dock to take people up the ramp,” port official Dave McCormick said.

The boat disembarked at 5 p.m. and was bound for Astoria, Ore.

A debriefing of the visit to see what worked and what can be improved is expected to take place on Friday, Madelung said.

The next cruise ship visit will be in September when the ship Amsterdam will drop anchor here.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

 

Just Posted

Rain and high winds to hit Vancouver Island this afternoon

Thursday and Friday to see downpour of 20 to 50mm and high winds on Vancouver Island

Learn the basics of publishing at Port Alberni workshop

George Opacic of Rutherford Press will present keys to the professional side of publishing

Septic truck rolls over without a spill west of Port Alberni

Single vehicle crash took place on Klekhoot Crescent

Vancouver Island partners sign hull design contract for floating LNG project

Steelhead LNG and partner Huu-ay-aht First Nations say the agreement was signed in Barcelona

RAISE A READER 2018: Port Alberni popup book event a success

First Book Canada brought 16,000 books for distribution in B.C.-wide event

Sproat Lake hosts fall dragon boat regatta

Port Alberni’s Sproat Ness Dragons earn third place

‘Like an Alfred Hitchcock movie’: Birds fall dead from the sky in B.C. city

Raptor expert says he’s never seen it happen anywhere in the Lower Mainland

Canada signs global pact to help rid world’s oceans of abandoned fishing gear

The federal Fisheries Minister says it’s a ‘critical issue’

GOP pushing forward for Kavanaugh, accuser wants ‘fairness’

Kavanaugh has denied al allegations of sexual misconduct

Tent city campers now allowed to stay in B.C. provincial park

Contrary to earlier reports, Ministry of Environment says there is no deadline for campers to leave Greater Victoria camp site

Former VP of lululemon joins B.C. cannabis cultivation facility

Kerry Biggs will be the Chief Financial Officer of True Leaf, in Lumby

Could cannabis help keep people in B.C. on treatment for opioid addiction?

People on opioid agonist treatment face lower risks of overdosing, BC Centre on Substance Use says

Around the BCHL – Trail Smoke Eater grad to captain NCAA Michigan Tech Huskies

Around the BCHL is a regular look at the BCHL and goings-on throughout the junior A world.

Thieves escape after man claims his wife is giving birth

RCMP searching for suspects in brazen daytime break in

Most Read