A massive cruise ship has docked in Victoria to help prepare it for emergency repairs.
The 322-metre (1055 foot), 15-deck Carnival Panorama cruise ship arrived at Ogden Point in Victoria on Monday to help prepare it for more extensive repairs down south.
On Thursday, C-SPAN crews were working to remove a funnel on the top of the cruise ship before it enters dry dock in Oregon.
“The vessel, though it’s normally based in Los Angeles, it had to come all the way up to Victoria to have the funnel removed,” said Lindsay Gaunt, director of cruise development for the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority.
“The funnel has to be removed so that it can go under a bridge to get to dry dock in Oregon,” she said.
Story continues below
Gaunt says the stop in Victoria was last minute, with Carnival Cruise Line needing to cancel some trips for guests.
Surprise shore leave
The Carnival Panorama can host just over 4,000 guests, and has room for 1,450 crew onboard.
Gaunt says those crew members were aboard the ship when it docked in Victoria, with many of them now exploring B.C.’s capital.
“It’s a great time for crew members to come to shore and do something they don’t normally get to do, they don’t normally get to stay on shore for this long,” she said.
She adds that Pacific Northwest Transportation Services offered free shuttles for crew members to come to downtown Victoria, and that Destination Greater Victoria is organizing tours for the marooned crew.
Gaunt adds that the harbour authority advertises Victoria as more than just a cruise ship destination.
Two other ships, including an ocean cleanup vessel and a Western Canada Marine Response Corporation spill response vessel were already docked at Ogden Point this week for regular maintenance.
During the port’s off-season, the GVHA says it has four deep-water berths that are able to handle emergency repairs – as well as a local pool of talented marine workers to finish the work.
“This business doesn’t come to Victoria by accident,” said Gaunt.
“It brings benefit to our community, for our skilled labourers, the maritime industry here, and shows the value of the maritime industry that we have here in Victoria.”