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In the “bad ideas that just won’t go away” department both Port Metro Vancouver and the Delta Optimist are out in force saying how important it is that new facilities are designed to accommodate mega cruise ships. These mega ships have been called “floating skyscrapers laid out sideways” and accommodate over 5,000 people. The gross tonnage is over 100,000 tons, and these vessels are over 1000 feet wide by 225 wide. These floating cities are designed for the cruise companies to have great economies of scale, but set up logistical problems for ports that have to accommodate these vessels. Indeed there are already lists of places online that are purportedly being ruined by the visits of these behemoths.
But here is what Port Metro Vancouver says~they’ve had a two per cent increase in passenger volumes over the year and the Port says that cruises are a “critical economic driver” bringing in an average 3 million dollars per vessel stay into the economy.
Of course this means that the Port is already embarking on a “pre-feasibility” study to ascertain where this mega cruise ship dock is going to be. As Price Tags Vancouver has previously written the two potential locations are Port Metro Vancouver locations in Richmond or Delta. Delta port is already trying to expand its facility to accommodate more cargo, despite the fact that such expansion will wipe out critical habitat for the migratory western sandpiper. But back to those mega ships.
Such ships could provide more customers for the ailing Tsawwassen Mills mall which is failing to attract a mega amount of customers outside of their annual Boxing Day sale. The ships could also bring candidates to the new casino which will be potentially placed beside the Massey Tunnel. And in the words of the Delta Optimist “…the port has also been saying cruise lines are building bigger ships which Canada Place won’t be able to accommodate. This summer, a top official with Cruise Lines International Association told the media that Vancouver is behind other cities, such as Seattle, that are investing heavily in their port infrastructure. The Vancouver port shut down Ballantyne Pier to cruise ships in 2014, leaving Canada Place as the city’s only cruise terminal.”
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