Cruisers Love Agents That Suggest “A Little Island Time!”

Nanaimo first received cruise ships in 2005 but they had to anchor out and tender passengers to shore. Celebrity/RCCL, Princess and Norwegian were all visitors to the community.

Nanaimo loved cruisers so much that in May 2011 they built a $24 million, state of the art, Welcome Centre and floating cruise berth that will accommodate the largest passenger vessel currently plying the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.  Now that is commitment!

They say that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder and Nanaimo’s greatest asset is her natural beauty! Nanaimo and Region has it all – from majestic mountains to the Pacific Ocean,  guests will view historic architecture, hear cannon firings, taste fresh seafood and farm produce, and feel the pride of the local culture.

Nanaimo’s central island location allows cruisers to use the Port as a basecamp and explore each of the surrounding regions within an hour of the downtown area: Cowichan Valley to the south and Qualicum Beach to the North.

Nanaimo truly is the “hub” city on the island and has close proximity to the cities of Vancouver, Seattle and Victoria. The cruise ship Welcome Centre, BC Ferries terminals, the Nanaimo Airport (YCD) and the Harbourfront waterway welcome millions of International visitors each year.

Within minutes of disembarking, cruise visitors can be drinking in the spectacular scenery of the area by exploring the downtown waterfront on foot, as it is a short 1 mile walk from the terminal. Regularly scheduled shuttle buses will also drop guests at stops throughout the different downtown districts. Rental cars offer the freedom to explore the surrounding regions at a leisurely pace OR pre-organized, guided shore excursions booked onboard the ship are readily available.

For those passengers with only a couple of hours, focusing on the treasures of the downtown area will be key. May we suggest: The Harbourside Walkway & parks; Old City Quarter shopping district in search of the infamous “Nanaimo Bar”; The Nanaimo Art Gallery & Museum; The Bastion and the delightful ferry or kayak ride to Newcastle Island to sample local brews and island fresh tasty morsels?

The cruisers that have up to 5 hours will be delighted with the abundance of fun and awesome scenery within a one hour radius of the city. For the more adventurous:  tree walking at Wild Play Element Park; mingling with locals on the Cedar Yellowpoint Artisan Trail; discovering the historical Murals of Chemainus; awesome Float Plane Tours; spelunking at Horne Lake Caves; or watching the goats on the roof and sampling the island’s best ice cream at Coombs market.

Whether visitors have 2 hours or a full day, are adventurous or history and cultural buffs, Nanaimo and Region is the perfect gateway to an island with Infinite Possibilities.

More events and tour ideas can be found: