Holland America’s Zaandam in Vancouver on April 27th.
Photo ©2010 Aaron Saunders

The arrival of Holland America Line‘s Amsterdam and Zaandam at Canada Place on Sunday and Tuesday respectively, marked the start of the 2010 Alaska Cruise season in Vancouver.  But the port didn’t sit idly by during the cool winter months – in fact, it took the opportunity to give itself an advantage few ports have: full shoreside power capabilities.

Boasting one hookup at each of the three berths at Canada Place, the new shoreside power hookups represent a $9-million dollar investment by the Government of Canada, the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, BC Hydro, and Port Metro Vancouver.

One of three new shoreside power hookups at Canada Place.
Photo ©2010 Aaron Saunders

By plugging into the shoreside power, ships are able to turn off their diesel engines and continue to run hotel operations off of the electrical power provided at the pier.  It is estimated that this is expected to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by 3,000 tonnes per year.
The first power unit was installed on the East berth of Canada Place in 2009.  The remaining outlets were installed on the North and West berths just a few weeks ago, in time for the start of the 2010 Alaska cruise season.

Port Metro Vancouver – which, until recently, was better known as the Port of Vancouver, states that while the city is expected to loose some 200,000-plus passengers and just under 80 sailings compared with last year, next year’s arrival of Disney Cruise Line and Oceania Cruises – both of which are newcomers to Alaska and Vancouver – plus the return of Crystal Cruises, absent since 2005, bode well for the future of the port.
Expect the shoreside power features to be heavily promoted in June, when the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) holds its cruise3sixty 2010 convention in Vancouver, marking the first time the event has taken place outside of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  
For more information on Port Metro Vancouver, be sure to visit the organization’s website, which includes a calendar of cruise ship calls at Canada Place between now and October 2010.

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