The first cruise ship of the 2019 season – the Celebrity Eclipse – docked in Victoria on April 16. (Arnold Lim/News Staff)

Revamped seven month cruise season to see 283 ship arrivals in 2020

Mid-week sailings to help contribute to 770,000 visitors disembarking in Victoria

The 2020 cruise ship season will see an increase in passengers visiting Victoria, partially thanks to an increase in mid-week calls.

An increase in visitors is scheduled from April to October 2020 at the Victoria Cruise Ship Terminal at Ogden Point, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) has announced.

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The Queen Elizabeth will begin round-trip cruises from Victoria to Alaska, next year, with the local cruise season set to begin on April 3, 2020. The first ship arriving will be the Grand Princess, with the Ruby Princess book-ending cruise sailings on Oct. 21, 2020.

As 12 cruise lines plan to visit Victoria, over the seven month season it is forecast that 283 ship arrivals will bring 770,000 passengers to Greater Victoria.

“Next year is shaping up to be significant for our organization with the beginning of round-trip calls from Victoria, new ships visiting, and a pattern of sustainable growth for the region,” says Lindsay Gaunt, director of cruise development for GVHA. “One of our objectives is to increase the number of daytime and mid-week calls, helping to balance the needs of the community with the visitor. A ship that calls for a full-day has a stronger economic impact for the destination and provides a better experience for visitors as well as residents.”

The new mid-week calls will take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Ship spotters can expect to see more of the Carnival Miracle, Golden Princess, and Norwegian Sun, which will all be regular visitors.

The Carnival Miracle will see 10 ship calls on alternating Tuesdays between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m., while the Golden Princess will visit on Wednesdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. every two weeks.

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The Norwegian Sun will make double the Golden Princess’s calls, with 14 visits scheduled, but will arrive at inconsistent times that are compatible with its schedule as it sails between Seattle and Alaska.

The Queen Elizabeth is due to stop-off at Victoria nine times in 2020.

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The revamped timetable sees new ships arriving too, including Holland America Line’s Koningsdam, Oceania Insignia, and Silversea’s Silver Cloud. The Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Joy, and Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas will also return to the Victoria Cruise Ship Terminal during the season.

The non-profit GVHA owns and operates several high-profile community amenities including The Breakwater, the Inner Harbour lower causeway, and the customs dock at Raymur Point. Within GVHA’s commercial and marine industrial holdings are the deep-water terminal at Ogden Point, Fisherman’s Wharf, Ship Point, four Inner Harbour marinas, and the historic Steamship Terminal. The GVHA says its management of the Victoria Cruise Terminal annually contributes more than $130 million to the local economy, as well as hundreds of direct and in-direct jobs. For more information visit gvha.ca.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

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