Ian Robertson, CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority. (Black Press Media file photo)

2021 Victoria cruise ship season still uncertain, says harbour authority

COVID-19 cases in U.S., B.C. concerning for future of cruise

The future of cruise ships in Victoria’s harbour remains cloudy.

With B.C. cases of COVID-19 trending upwards and more than five million total cases in the U.S., Ian Robertson, CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA), says we can’t take a 2021 cruise ship season for granted.

“In the spring I felt positive about cruise returning in some form or another in 2021. I have a little bit more cautious optimism as we speak. A lot needs to change,” he said.

RELATED: Harbour authority CEO charts course for return of cruise ships to post-pandemic Victoria

In mid-March, cruise cancellations began around the world and shortly after Transport Canada banned large scale port calls.

Now Robertson is working with the Cruise Line Industry Association (CLIA) to chart the next steps. Rules and guidelines could include anything from temperature scans to full COVID-19 tests, both before and during the trip.

With Royal Caribbean seeking a patent for ‘Seaface’ – a name for onboard face masks – Robertson speculates those could also be an onboard requirement for many cruise ships.

Any new protocols would need to be vetted, he added, with final approval needed from Transport and Health Canada.

“Once they give the go-ahead that will give us confidence that it will be safe for cruise ships to arrive,” Robertson said.

Victoria may also have the advantage of seeing how cruises are run this winter, with some companies intending to launch Mexican and Caribbean sailings.

“I think we’ll get a good sense of what the cruise season will look like and what protocols they put in place once they start sailing again,” Robertson said.

A typical cruise ship season brings about $130 million to the regional economy through tourism and jobs. Cruises represent about 70 per cent of the harbour authority’s annual revenues.

RELATED: Victoria cruise ship cancellations will have ‘significant economic impacts,’ GVHA says


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: nina.grossman@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

City of VictoriaCruise ShipsCruisesVictoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Almost half of Canadian university students fear they cannot pay rising tuitions

COVID-19 also diminishing expectations for job market

Saanich’s autumn full-moon lantern celebration shifts to drive-thru

Harvest Moon event takes place Sept. 26 in Gordon Head

Voting now ready for Arts Alive 2020 sculptures

Audio and written descriptions posted for all 10 sculptures

Cook Street Village grocery icon closing, new owners plan major renovation

Louie family has operated Oxford Foods and predecessor for five decades at Cook and Oxford streets

WorkSafeBC investigating death at Victoria Customs House construction site

Prevention officer will ensure all safety issues addressed before work starts again

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Rare fish washes onto Whiffin Spit in Sooke

Deep water fish identified as ‘King-of-the-salmon’

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Island Corridor Foundation launches survey on importance of Vancouver Island rail

“ICF remains 100 per cent committed to the restoration of full rail service on Vancouver Island”

Island RCMP remind drivers not to text after 19 tickets handed out in 90 minutes

The $368 fines were handed out Tuesday on Norwell Drive and Old Island Highway in Nanaimo

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Most Read