The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) is concluding a cruise ship season that welcomed 709,042 passengers and 294,956 crew members on 257 ship calls.
Thirty vessels from 15 different cruise lines visited the Victoria Cruise Terminal this year, and despite the cancellation of seven ship calls (the original forecast was 264) due to bad weather and itinerary changes, the number of cruise visitors still exceeded the expected number of 700,000.
A media release from the GVHA noted since the season launch on April 16, the authority saw a number of milestones including the eight millionth passenger to the Victoria Cruise Terminal, the arrival of Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas and the addition of the Norwegian Joy, sister ship to the Norwegian Bliss.
Now the harbour authority is preparing to install a 58-metre mooring dolphin extension to Pier B, a project which had been originally planned for earlier this year. The extension will allow for the docking of larger cruise ships and according to the GVHA, keep the Victoria Cruise Terminal “competitive and an attractive port for cruise lines to call well into the future.”
The season wasn’t without controversy, however, as the City of Victoria noted visible emissions from cruise ships over the summer, as well as high amounts of waste from cruise ships entering Capital Region landfills. The city is calling on the GVHA to stop increasing cruise ship activity and take further measures to reduce environmental impacts. The GVHA has since released an emissions inventory report detailing its efforts to curb pollutant levels.
The next cruise season is scheduled to begin April 3, 2020, with the arrival of the Grand Princess, and conclude Oct. 21, 2020, with the arrival of the Ruby Princess.
Thanks to new mid-week visits, the GVHA is anticipating an increase to 284 ship calls and 770,000 passengers throughout the next seven month season. The Carnival Miracle, Golden Princess and Norwegian Sun will become regular callers in 2020.
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