Windy weather has shattered one cruise ship’s plan to dock at Ogden Point in Victoria this afternoon, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) says.
While the Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Bliss was scheduled to arrive at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, GVHA CEO Ian Robertson says the stop has been cancelled due to high winds.
That means the ship, which the CDC says has COVID-19 cases on board, will skip BC’s capital and make its way to Vancouver earlier than expected.
“She (Norwegian Bliss) has a specific arrival time into Vancouver very early tomorrow morning,” explained Robertson, “so she’s probably doing a series of donuts out in the Juan de Fuca Strait to kill time before she heads to Vancouver.”
But Robertson notes that missed ship calls happen all the time. In fact, he says the GVHA budgets for a certain number each year due to weather events.
“This is the first time it’s happened this year, and I’m sure it won’t be the last,” he said.
And while the start of Victoria’s 2022 cruise ship season faces choppy waters, Robertson notes he’s still thrilled to see its long-awaited return.
Earlier this month, the first cruise ship docked in Victoria since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, ushering in thousands of passengers who were met with environmental protesters.
The Holland America Koningsdam sailed in on April 9th with 1,200 passengers on board, becoming the first ship to be called to a Canadian port since October 2019.
But that was a few days later than expected after Princess Cruises cancelled plans to dock the Caribbean Princess in Victoria on April 6th due to scheduling changes and amid COVID-19 cases onboard.
All passengers and crew must be fully vaccinated to board ships entering Canada—a regulation and requirement put in place by Transport Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
The delay ultimately pushed the time passed since the return of a cruise ship to Canada to 905 days, according to the GVHA, which says over 350 ship calls and around 780,000 passengers are expected in Victoria this year.
The next cruise ship set to arrive is Princess Cruises Grand Princess, docking this Friday, April 22nd.