Cruise ships might not be stopping in Nanaimo, but craft you can cruise in are showing up by the boatload.
Longshoremen in Nanaimo unloaded a delivery of yachts from the deck of the cargo ship AAL Genoa earlier this month.
The ship arrived at the Port of Nanaimo Assembly Wharf on Wednesday, July 6, and began unloading operations, using the ship’s onboard cranes, to lift more than 20 yachts and set them gently in the water.
Capt. Satinder Singh, Port of Nanaimo vice-president of marine operations and harbour master, said in an e-mail to the News Bulletin that Nanaimo and Victoria are the preferred discharge locations for yachts being brought back to the West Coast because of DP World’s and the Island’s longshoremen’s experience with handling yachts.
“The majority of the yachts being transported by the yacht carriers utilizing Nanaimo are destined for Seattle or Alaska with a few staying in B.C.,” Singh said. “Of the 21 yachts discharged from the AAL Genoa, five will be imported into Canada and the balance will go to the U.S.A.”
Singh said yacht carriers’ main ports for loading are normally in Fort Lauderdale and Port Everglades in Florida, Costa Rica, and from La Paz and Ensenada in Mexico.
Of the yachts arriving, about 20 per cent are being imported, about 10 per cent are yachts returning after cruising in Mexico or the Caribbean, 20 per cent will be yachts being repositioned for cruising in B.C. or Alaska and the balance will be returning to Seattle or other Pacific Northwest locations after cruising in Mexico and the Caribbean. The owners of those vessels will often have some repair work done in B.C. before taking them home, he said.
“A large increase in yachts being shipped ‘home’ in 2020 and 2021 were due to COVID when the owners could not travel to Mexico or the Caribbean,” Singh said.
A second vessel, BBC Hudson, is scheduled to deliver another load of yachts next week.