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It was a stop on recent Azamara cruise. It was a waste of time. The excursions were expensive and terrible.  We stopped in July. We were the second ship to ever stop there.  Hope nobody goes there. However, if you stop there, do not get off.  Not much worth seeing. I would rather pack than waste time in that port. 

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Minor correction - second ship this season. Past seasons have also seen a few other ships port in Nanaimo each year. While downtown certainly doesn't offer a great deal of options, it's no crappier than many Caribbean ports (in fact a variety of very good pubs and a far more civilized climate make it preferable to most Caribbean ports for myself).


Cathedral Grove is very accessible from Nanaimo - and that's absolutely world class, virtually unique - so there are certainly things to do that are better than staying onboard if your ship does visit... but I have to say that I'd personally prefer a day of scenic cruising around the Inside Passage to a stop, given a choice of itinerary.

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I stopped there probably 10 years ago. I wasn't overly impressed with the stop either.

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I disagree.....but everyone has a viewpoint.......we stopped there September of last year,  yes it's true they don't get too many ships but when they do they roll out the red carpet.  There were buses running all day long to get you into town and back to the ship.  They do a canon lighting ceremony there during these visits three times throughout the day......much history there,  it was great to see.   Many restaurants and shops to see.  There is a small zipline at a park by the water......one can easily spend a half day.....not a waste of time in my opinion.  Granted ours was just a four night turn around cruise stopped in Victoria and Nainiamo.

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Been into Nanaimo Port many times and have also visited for multiple day meetings, etc. While downtown might be limited, which is consistent with many of the world's ports, they have some amazing scenery and attractions within an hour. A little research pre-cruise, would have provided a list.


We are heading over on October 1st for 4-days to a hotel 20 miles from the port. All 4 days will be busy with sightseeing, pub visits, restaurants and visiting attractions.


Can only assume that you did little, if any research and opted for for the easy option of taking a ship tour. Suggest your complaint be directed at the cruise line, who did not provide tours to the local attractions close to town. 

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While I have been to Nanaimo many times over the years as a Vancouver resident I have also twice come in by cruise ship. 

The first time we tendered and next time time we docked at the new terminal.

Agree with Heidi13 - nothing wrong with Nanaimo - and they do roll out the red carpet and you might even see the Mounties in there ceremonial red serge uniforms.

The walk along the waterfront promenade has signs telling the history of the area - from coal to lumber to tourism.

A short little boat ride you are at Newcastle Island park - lots of trails and scenery there.

I took ship's excursions up to the Horne Lake caves and really enjoyed it.

Oh - and there is a small casino close to the port.

Hopes this helps people decide what to do with this port stop.


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