The final cruise ship call at Ogden Point Cruise Terminal in Victoria will be this Sunday, marking the end to a record-breaking cruise season.
Since April 11, 2018, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) has seen 640,000 passengers and 260,000 crew on 250 ship calls. Last year, there were 600,000 passengers and 239,000 crew members on 239 cruise ship calls.
The inaugural call of the new Norwegian Cruise Lines flagship, Norwegian Bliss, also took place this season, on June 1. According to the GVHA, adding this Alaskan cruise resulted in about 1,500 more passengers visiting Victoria on Friday afternoons.
“Norwegian Cruise Lines, along with the other 11 cruise lines visited this season, consistently rank Victoria’s Ogden Point Cruise Terminal as a port of call that is welcoming, easy to work with, and focused on sustainability and environmental improvements,” Lindsay Gaunt, director of cruise development with the GVHA.
The GVHA said the estimated economic contribution to the regional economy from the cruises was $130 million.
In preparation for the Norweigan Bliss, new bollards were installed at Pier A South to secure the 168,000-tonne vessel. GVHA’s terminal management partner Western Stevedoring added new lighting to Pier B.
The GVHA said all passengers coming from the cruise terminal to downtown Victoria had more pedi-cab, rickshaw and bike rental options.
For the 2019 season, the GVHA will lengthen the Pier B mooring dolphin, which will accommodate docking of the Royal Caribbean International Ovation of the Seas at the deep-water facility. The new cruise lines will be Azamara and Cunard, returning after more than 20 years.
And Norwegian Cruise Lines is repositioning the Norwegian Joy, sister ship of the Norwegian Bliss, on the Seattle to Alaska route in 2019, with a weekly call scheduled for Saturdays from June to October.