Victoria welcomed record number of cruise ship calls in 2017 – 600,000 seasonal visitors arrived via Ogden Point
Victoria welcomed 239 cruise ship calls in 2017, the largest number ever recorded in the city. In a season that stretches from April through October, close to 600,000 passengers and more than 239,000 crew visited the city on cruise ships.
“The cruise lines we work with love Victoria as a destination,” says Ian Robertson, CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority. “This higher number of ship calls reflects a growing interest in our city not just during the peak summer season, but in the shoulder months of late spring and early fall as well.”
There were 224 cruise ship calls to Victoria in 2016.
During the 2017 season, GVHA greeted the seven millionth cruise ship passenger to visit the city since the Ogden Point cruise terminal began as a cruise destination in 1978. The passenger arrived on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas in June.
A month earlier, Seabourn cruise line’s Sojourn berthed at Ogden Point, the first Seabourn visit to Victoria in 15 years. Smaller, boutique and “pocket” cruise lines, including National Geographic’s Lindblad Expeditions, have been making more frequent visits to Victoria over the past few years, a trend that’s expected to continue as Pacific Northwest and Alaska itineraries grow in popularity.
At the beginning of the season, GVHA introduced a new tool for cruise industry partners to give them real-time updates to arrival and departure schedules on victoriacruise.ca. At the end of the season, ground transportation providers CVS Tours and The Wilson’s Group announced a joint venture with GVHA to make the Ogden Point bus fleet greener, cleaner, and quieter.
For next season, GVHA will build an extended mooring dolphin to accommodate the brand-new 330m Norwegian Bliss, scheduled for regular calls to Alaska via Victoria beginning in June 2018. Cruise partners in the city are also preparing to welcome Royal Caribbean’s quantum class ship Ovation of the Seas, and Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth in 2019.