North to Alaska

Mickey Mouse

In 1999, when Vancouver was unable to provide Norwegian Cruise Lines with adequate docking space, the Scandinavian operator sailed away to Seattle. Other lines followed, and we gradually lost about 60 percent of our cruise business. But things may be turning around. This spring Disney, the world’s largest family-oriented cruise line, will start running Alaska trips out of Canada Place. The Disney Wonder‘s first sailing will depart May 3; in all, 18 Disney cruises are scheduled to leave our port in 2011. That represents 100,000 passengers, mostly Americans, who’ll spend some $40 million on limos and taxis, hotel rooms and souvenirs, food and drink. Welcome to Vancouver, Mickey.

—Ayden Fabien Férdeline