First cruise ship of the season to arrive in Victoria in less than 2 weeks

First cruise ship of the season to arrive in Victoria in less than 2 weeks
Nicholas Pescod
A cruise ship is pictured in Victoria waters in July 2022.

The first cruise ship of the 2024 season is set to arrive in Victoria in early April.

The season will kick off with the arrival of the Norwegian Bliss cruise ship – which can hold over 4,000 guests and more than 1,700 crew – on April 3.

It’s just the first of 318 ships that are scheduled to dock in B.C.’s capital this year, with the final cruise ship set to reach Victoria on Oct. 27, though schedules may vary this early into the season.

Last year, Victoria saw a record-setting number of cruise ship passengers arrive in the city with a total of 970,000 passengers, an increase of about 26 per cent from the year before.

While a historic number of visitors arrived, they actually came on fewer ships than the before, but the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority noted that each ship was filled with more passengers in 2023 than in 2022.

READ PREVIOUS: Victoria sees record number of cruise passengers in 2023, despite fewer ships

This year, cruise ships will also be returning to Nanaimo for the first time in roughly five years.

Two cruises are currently scheduled to dock in the Harbour City with the first arriving on May 9, and the second mooring on Aug. 26.

It’s the first time that cruise ships have come to the city since 2019.

Earlier this year, the Nanaimo Port Authority said it was working hard to rebuild its cruise ship industry following the pandemic, and that it had a goal of bringing in 25 cruise ships per year, though no specific timetable for when that goal would be reached was laid out.

“The arrival of these luxury vessels not only boosts tourism but also brings substantial benefits to our local businesses and the broader Nanaimo community,” said the Port of Nanaimo in a social media post Wednesday.

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In Victoria, more than 10-million cruise ship passengers have disembarked in the city over the past 54 years. This year’s season will be the 55th.

In October, the GVHA said cruise ship passengers spent an average of $45 million per year while in the city, while crew members spent an average of $11.4 million, based on an economic impact study completed in 2019 for the harbour authority.

Adam ChanAdam Chan

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