Port Alberni is about to become a frequent cruise ship stop, thanks in large part to the Steam Train and McLean Mill
When passengers arrived at Nanaimo’s $24-million cruise ship dock, their most popular excursion was a trip to walk in Cathedral Grove, then take the steam train to McLean Mill.
Steve Hnatko, General Manager of Cruise Operations for West Coast Agencies said the Holland America line recognized the popularity of the trip to Port Alberni from their few Nanaimo stops.
Hnatko said the cruise line is looking for unique, local experiences that people aren’t going to get in Victoria or Vancouver, and he’s working with the city and port authority to develop more passenger excursions from Port Alberni.
Holland America will return to Port Alberni three times in the summer of 2019, and hope to increase the number of visits here in the following years.
Hnatko said many of the 2500 passengers aboard a cruise ship, will return again to places like Port Alberni, extending the tourism value for years to come.
He said three Holland America ships will visit Port Alberni in 2019, and then their Princess and Carnival cruise line ships could join the route in following years.
Three cruise ships will dock in Nanaimo this summer, again sending busloads of tourists here on a day-long excursion to see the big trees and ride the rails.