chapter  9
14 Pages

Monitoring Patterns of Cruise Tourism Across Arctic Canada

ByEmma J. Stewart, Dianne Draper, Jackie Dawson

Almost a quarter century after the inaugural cruise by the Explorer, the number of cruises to the Canadian Arctic peaked at 26, making the 2008 summer season the busiest ever for cruise vessels in this region. Despite growth in this niche polar expedition cruising market, little is known about the scale and scope of cruise activity in Arctic Canada. In this chapter, data from the 2006, 2008 and 2009 cruise seasons is presented and routes taken by cruise vessels, as well as communities and other locations visited, are identi¤ed (data was not collected in 2007). It is argued that a basic lack of information on cruise tourism activities, alongside limited monitoring, lack of formal regulations and poor surveillance capability of cruise ship activities in the region, hinders social and environmental sustainability of both the cruise tourism industry and local communities of Arctic Canada. £e chapter begins with a brief history of cruise activities in the Canadian Arctic and provides an overview of the current monitoring of cruise ship activities conducted by northern agencies. In an e¢ort to remedy some of the problems of data collection, a dataset on cruise tourism in Arctic Canada is presented which highlights geographic patterns of cruise activity focusing on the High Arctic, Northwest Passage, Ba§n Bay and Hudson Bay regions.

In 1984, with 98 tourists on board, the Explorer cruise ship traversed the Northwest Passage in 23 days, only the 33rd full passage ever (Marsh and Staple, 1995; Jones, 1999). £is maritime ‘¤rst’ signalled the start of the cruise industry in Arctic Canada (Stewart et al, 2007). Expedition cruising, a phrase used to describe the Arctic cruise concept, is styled on early cruises to Antarctica where, during the 1960s, cruising ¤rst