Last Friday, Princess Cruise Lines docked their newly enhanced vessel – the Grand Princess – at Nanaimo’s cruise ship terminal. Complete with beautiful dining rooms, an 800-seat theatre, multiple lounges, a club, four (!!) pools, an art gallery, 1,300 beautiful cabins, and much more, the Grand Princess is more than just a cruise ship – it’s an experience. We were super excited to be one of four stops on the Grand Princess’ voyage. Starting in San Francisco, the ship made its way up to Astoria, before it landed in our fair Harbour city.
Even Mayor John Ruttan, and a few Mounties, stopped by to welcome our guests!
Roughly 2553 passengers and crew disembarked from the ship and made their way into Nanaimo. Some were off to pre-booked excursions in and around Nanaimo, while others inquired, “What is there to do here?!” Nanaimo prepared a number of events in honour of our guests.
The Bastion was open and gave our visitors a taste of the old days by hosting five canon firings. Even a few lucky passengers lit the ceremonial canons! The Nanaimo Downtown Farmers’ Market and the new Friday Evening Market were in full swing. Since the Grand Princess was docked until 10pm, many of our downtown businesses stayed open later to accommodate our visiting passengers. There were also a number of live local acts. From musicians to hypnotists, there was a great variety of live entertainment!
Sarah and I were both on hand near the end of the evening to bid our visitors farewell and to inquire about their visit. There was nothing but positive feedback from our guests, with many taking our Nanaimo & Region Experience guide to help them plan for future visits.
As the sun began to set, the Grand Princess turned on her lights and sparkled in Nanaimo’s Harbour. As their departure time wasn’t until after 11pm, visitors and locals were able to see the Grand Princess sparkle under the stars before making its short journey over to Vancouver, the last stop on their voyage.
It was a fun and exciting day for our guests, and for the city of Nanaimo. We hope to see some return visitors in the future!
Were you on the Grand Princess? How did you enjoy your stay in our fair city?! Let us know in the comments below!
– Sean & Sarah