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

CIVIC ELECTION: Large voter turnout seen in Saanich, Oak Bay

Rec centres as polling places boosts numbers in Saanich, advance voting soars in Oak Bay

Rob Martin is the new mayor of Colwood

Martin will be joined by four new faces on council

Voters in Saanich and Victoria support creation of citizens’ assembly on amalgamation

Group will continue to keep pressure on Victoria and Saanich councils after amalgamation referendum

New faces elected to Greater Victoria school district

Twelve candidates were vying for nine positions

Victoria’s Canada Post workers to begin rotating strikes Monday

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

WATCH: Twelve Angry Jurors puts a new spin on an old tale

Canadian College of Performing Arts opens season with reworked version of Reginald Rose teleplay

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for Oct. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. man sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Cam Levins ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Most Read