Successful season at the Victoria Cruise Terminal comes to an end

The Ogden Point cruise ship terminal (Courtesy Greater Victoria Harbour Authority)The not-for-profit Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) concluded the 2019 cruise ship season on Friday, Oct. 18 having welcomed 709,042 passengers and 294,956 crew on a total of 257 ship calls.

GVHA is now preparing for the arrival of purpose-built steel for the 58-metre mooring dolphin extension at Pier B, originally planned for the 2019 season. The steel is expected to be on site at the Victoria Cruise Terminal within the next 10 – 14 days, weather permitting, and will be barged from New Westminster following its arrival from China. Due to the unfortunate loss at sea of the original steel in December 2018, the organization worked with its contractors to order new steel and deferred the project construction for fall and winter 2019-20.

The mooring dolphin extension will be able to dock larger cruise ships that are increasingly being used by cruise lines, allowing the Victoria Cruise Terminal to remain competitive and an attractive port for cruise lines to call well into the future.

From the season launch on April 16, 2019, this year’s cruise season witnessed milestones including the arrival of the eight millionth passenger to the Victoria Cruise Terminal at The Breakwater District, the return of Cunard to the region with six calls by the Queen Elizabeth, the arrival of Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas, and the addition of the Norwegian JOY, sister ship of the Norwegian BLISS. This year, the Victoria Cruise Terminal welcomed 30 vessels from 15 different cruise lines.

Originally forecast to welcome 264 ship calls this season, seven calls were cancelled due to adverse weather and last-minute itinerary changes, with the most recent cancellation occurring for the call planned on Oct. 25, 2019. Even with these cancellations, the total number of cruise visitors exceeded the forecast of 700,000 visitors.

As previously announced, the 2020 cruise season in Victoria is currently scheduled to begin on Friday, April 3, 2020 with the arrival of the Grand Princess and conclude on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020 with the arrival of the Ruby Princess. It is expected that 284 ship calls will bring 770,000 passengers to the Greater Victoria region throughout the seven-month season. In total, 12 cruise lines choose Victoria as a port of call.

The increase in ship calls and passengers is a result of new mid-week visits on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. New regular callers to Victoria for 2020 are the Carnival Miracle, Golden Princess, and Norwegian Sun.

The Carnival Miracle will see 10 ship calls on alternating Tuesdays between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. throughout the season.

The Golden Princess will call on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every two weeks for a total of seven calls.

The Norwegian Sun will call 14 times in 2020, arriving on various days and times as it completes its variable itinerary between Seattle and Alaska.

Cruise in Victoria is responsible for more than 800 indirect and direct jobs and more than $130 million in annual economic impact to the region.

(Greater Victoria Harbour Authority)

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