The Victoria cruise ship season officially gets under way today. This year 230 ships carrying more than 513

Victoria expects record cruise ship season

First ship of season docks at Ogden Point this morning

A record number of cruise ships will be coming to Victoria this season and they will be staying longer, says the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority.

Two-hundred-and-thirty ships carrying more than 513,000 passengers and crew are expected between today (April 22) and Nov. 9.

That’s up from 2012 (the last record year) when there were 224 port calls, with 504,000 passengers.

The first ship to visit is the Grand Princess when it docks at Ogden Point this morning.

Sonterra Ross, chief operating officer of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, said ships will stay longer in port this year, with the average visit seven hours. The shortest call is five hours, the longest 14.

“This represents a 17 per cent increase over daytime calls in 2014,” she said. “It means ship passengers and crew will stay in the area longer helping local businesses.”

Each Victoria cruise call is worth $500,000 to the region’s economy, Ross said. This is a combination of supplying the vessels money that travellers and the ship’s crew spend here. Over the course of the season it amounts to more than $32 million.

It’s good news for the tourism industry, too, said Paul Nursey, president and CEO of Tourism Victoria.

Research has shown that more than 70 per cent of first time visitors to Canada will return in two years.

It puts a challenge to local tourism officials and operators.

“People sometimes forget that we have tooth and nail competition. It’s really important that we invite visitors back,” Nursey said.

Tourism Victoria will begin a program this year enticing cruise passengers back.

“We are introducing 500,000 people to our destination, and we need to engage the community,” Nursey said.

Over the past decade, cruise ship calls have more than doubled and passenger numbers have more than tripled.

Due to the cruise ships making Victoria a port of call, the GVHA has been able to invest $23.8 million in capital projects to improve all its facilities, including $13.4 million in direct improvements at Ogden Point.

 

 

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

Just Posted

A 23-foot sailboat that broke free from its anchor was smashed against Cattle Point during the early October south-easterly storms. (Ron Geezin Photo)
Storm-smashed boat pulled off rocks of Cattle Point in Oak Bay

Sailboat a casualty of last week’s big storms

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

More than 250 riders took part in the fifth annual Tripleshot CrossFondo, which riders across parts of the Saanich Peninsula, including this field near Sluggett Farms. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Tripleshot CrossFondo rides across Saanich Peninsula

More than 250 cyclists took part in mystery-course race

City of Victoria crews will soon be gathering up fallen leaves in neighbourhoods and city parks. First up on the pickup list are the James Bay, Fairfield, Rockland, Gonzales and South Jubilee neighbourhoods, starting Oct. 19. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Victoria city leaf pickup a sure sign of fall

Residential pickup begins Oct. 19, drop-offs can happen anytime at city yard

Local New Democrat Zeb King welcomed Premier John Horgan during a brief photo opportunity in Sidney Monday afternoon (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
NDP leader John Horgan predicts party will ‘flip’ Saanich North and the Islands

Incumbent MLA Adam Olsen calls Horgan’s claim ‘bold’

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

(File photo)
RCMP: Two men face charges in reported Parksville fatal hit-and-run

Investigation into man’s death began in August of 2019

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

Steven Michael Bacon pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder of Nanaimo teen Makayla Chang. (Photos submitted)
Accused pleads not guilty in Nanaimo teen’s 2017 murder

Steven Bacon appeared in Nanaimo court Monday via video link from Thunder Bay

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Kootenay couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Most Read