A trio of cruise ships sit in port at Ogden Point on a summer evening in July 2017. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

Record number of cruise ship passengers visit Victoria this year

GVHA says the increase reflects a growing interest in our city

A record number of visitors docked at Victoria’s Ogden Point cruise ship terminal this year.

A reported 239 cruise ship calls in 2017 made it the largest number ever recorded for the city, up from 224 in 2016. From April to October, over 600,000 passengers visited the city and this season also welcomed the seven millionth cruise ship passenger since the Ogden Point cruise terminal became a destination in 1978, arriving on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas.

Ian Robertson, CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) says the cruise lines they work with love Victoria.

“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,” he added.

The city has seen smaller, boutique or “pocket” cruise lines – ships with all the amenities, but fewer passengers, like National Geographic’s Lindblad Expeditions — make more frequent visits over the past few years. As visits and interest to the Pacific Northwest and Alaska grow in popularity, that trend is expected to grow.

RELATED: Harbour Authority signs up for green bus fleet

Paul Nursey, president and CEO of Tourism Victoria said the GVHA has done great work welcoming cruise ships to the city during what has been another remarkable year for tourism in Greater Victoria.

“Having more than 600,000 cruise ship passengers visit our city is really positive for our destination as research indicates many of those people will come back later for a longer visit,” Nursey said. “The fact more visitors are choosing to come in the shoulder seasons shows that our efforts to promote Greater Victoria as a year-round destination are working.”

At the start of the season, GVHA introduced a new tool to give real-time updates for arrival and departure schedules on victoriacruise.ca. Toward the end of the season, a join venture between CVS Tours and The Wilson’s Group was announced to make the Ogden Point bus fleet a greener, cleaner and quieter operation.

Thinking ahead to next season, GVHA is building an extended mooring dolphin to welcome a brand new 330 metre ship, the Norwegian Bliss, scheduled for regular calls beginning in June 2018, as well as Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas,and in 2019, Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth.


Just Posted

Greater Victoria teachers experienced more than 30 incidents of violence from students in one month

Shuttered behavioural programs, lack of resources creates challenges for local schools

Esquimalt High robotics team heads to international competition

The Esquimalt Atom Smashers will participate in the FIRST Robotics Canada competition

Canadian alcohol policy gets failing grade from UVic researchers

Canadian provinces and territories collectively achieved less than half of their potential to reduce alcohol related harm

Island playoffs underway at Oak Bay High

Home team vies for fifth straight Island title

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Federal fisheries minister calls for precautionary approach to fish farming

Government still reviewing Federal Court’s decision on PRV – Wilkinson

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

Most Read