(Greater Victoria Harbour Authority)

The 2019 cruise ship season has officially come to an end, bringing over one million people to southern Vancouver Island.

According to numbers released by the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA), Victoria welcomed 709,042 passengers and 294,956 crew from 257 different cruise ship calls.

There were seven cancellations due to adverse weather and last-minute itinerary changes, including one on the last day of the season, October 25th.

On May 17th, the cruise ship industry hit a new milestone by welcoming its 8 millionth passenger, Meghan Lorenzon and her spouse Brent Petkus.

Upon their arrival in Victoria aboard the Norwegian Joy cruise ship, they were quickly whisked off on a complimentary tour of the city after it was determined that Lorenzon was the 8 millionth passenger to disembark at our port of call.

Time for construction

The GVHA is now preparing for the arrival of purpose-built steel for the 58-metre mooring dolphin extension at Pier B, originally planned for the 2019 season.

The steel is expected to arrive within the next 10 – 14 days, weather permitting and will be barged from New Westminster following its arrival from China.

The original shipment that was destined for Ogden Point Pier was lost at sea in December, the organization worked with its contractors to order new steel and deferred the project construction for this fall and winter.

The shipment was part of Ogden Point’s new mooring dolphin extension, which will extend Pier B in Ogden Point by 55 metres, allowing it to accommodate larger cruise ships.

Before the pile shipment was lost, the dolphin extension project was originally set to be completed by summer 2019 in time for cruise ship season.

Number of cruise ships

Earlier this month, Victoria City Council passed a controversial motion that would limit the number of vessels that dock in the city each year due to environmental concerns.

According to GVHA, the cruise industry creates over 800 jobs and produces more than $130 million in annual economic impact.

With files from Bristhi Basu