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  • Cruise Ship Still Sails in 2010 Olympics Plan


    The town of Squamish offers spectacular views on the way to Whistler. 
    (ATR) Vancouver 2010 says it remains committed to exploring the use of a cruise ship to house journalists or other guests, despite rejection of the plan by IOC press experts.

    As reported first in Around the Rings this week, the IOC Press Commission has knocked-back a proposal from VANOC that would house upwards of 1,600 media aboard a cruise ship berthed at Squamish, 60 miles from Vancouver.

    The town of 20,000 on Howe Sound is midway between Vancouver and Whistler.

    The advisory IOC commission says the location in Squamish is too remote from both Vancouver and Whistler. The commission also says it believes a cruise ship is better suited to corporate hospitality programs rather than as living space for journalists for the better part of three weeks.

    "Cruise ship accommodation in Squamish is a creative and sustainable accommodation option," said VANOC vice president Terry Wright in a statement defending the plan.

    "Squamish is the midpoint of the Olympic and Paralympic theatre and this unique accommodation option would create a hub of activity in Squamish linking the city venues in Vancouver with the mountain venues in Whistler," he says.

    In a statement, VANOC notes that the cruise ship "gives VANOC flexibility while reducing the complexity of building permanent or temporary accommodations.

    "It is
    also an environmentally friendly option and supports VANOC's sustainability objectives. Discussions with cruise ship lines have been initiated," says VANOC?s statement.

    One hitch in the cruise line concept may be scheduling, as the ships that ply the waters of the Pacific near Vancouver usually travel later in the year. An expensive repositioning could be required for a big enough vessel.

    The chairman of the IOC Press Commission is expected to visit Vancouver later this year to work out a solution to the housing issue. VANOC says it welcomes the visit.

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