Wednesday, February 28, 2024

The first cruise ship of the season arrived today at Ogden Point with 2,600 passengers


Let the Victoria cruise ship season begin!

At just over 209 meters with room for 2,600 passengers, the Sapphire Princess arrived at the Ogden Point cruise ship terminal (Breakwater District) early Tuesday morning, kicking off a cruise season in Victoria that will bring more than 850,000 visitors to the city.

Passengers of the Sapphire Princess were greeted by Lekwungen Dancers.

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) said Songhees Nation representative Skip Dick granted permission to the ship’s crew and passengers to come ashore—a historical and cultural protocol of the Lekwungen People.

“Visiting tribes entering the harbour by canoe required the Chief’s permission before stepping onto Lekwungen territory. The Lekwungen welcome protocol was followed with a performance by Lekwungen dancers,” said the GVHA.

Today we received Sapphire Princess at the port at The Breakwater District, marking the first cruise ship of the season in Canadian waters. A special thank you to Elder Skip Dick for welcoming passengers and crew and granting permission to come ashore; and to the Lekwungen dancers for making this a special occasion.

Posted by Greater Victoria Harbour Authority on Tuesday, April 11, 2023

The Sapphire Princess is berthed at Ogden Point until 11 p.m. tonight.

“The return of cruise passengers is a sure sign of our continued post-pandemic economic recovery. These visitors create significant economic impact across the Capital Region and The Chamber welcomes them back to enjoy all we have to offer on our beautiful Island in the Pacific,” said Bruce Williams, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce.

“In the 2022 Desire to Return Survey, 53 per cent of cruise passengers visiting Victoria indicated that they were likely to return to Victoria in the next five years. The economic contribution of cruise tourism benefits locals—our neighbours, friends and family—who work in the tourism and marine sectors,” said Christine Willow, board chair for GVHA.

The Sapphire Princess is on its way to Victoria and will arrive on April 11 at 9 am, marking the start of the cruise…

Posted by Greater Victoria Harbour Authority on Monday, April 10, 2023

Last week, the province announced a $9 million investment into shore power project for the port at The Breakwater District.

This will allow cruise ships visiting Victoria to access electricity while moored at Ogden Point.

The shore-power connection would allow cruise ships to plug into the local electricity grid and turn their generators off while docked, reducing emissions and noise.

In addition to lowering gas pollution, this new infrastructure in store for Ogden Point will also make a massive dent in the amount of noise pollution underwater.

Ocean noise is just one type of noise pollution that seriously affects marine wildlife such as whales, sea lions and otters, according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).

“We are thrilled to welcome the Sapphire Princess and her passengers to beautiful Victoria to kick off the 2023 cruise season. The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is focused on sustainable port operations, supporting a positive experience for visitors, and working with partners to reduce local and regional impacts,” said Robert Lewis-Manning, CEO of GVHA.

“The recent launch of GVHA’s shore power project is one of several initiatives aimed at reducing emissions in our region.”

Six cruise ships will make their inaugural call to Victoria this summer: Brilliance of the Seas, Carnival Luminosa, L’Austral, MS Insignia, Scenic Eclipse II and Ocean Victory.

The upcoming cruise season will see an estimated 320 ship calls and around 850,000 passengers over seven months. While the number of ships stopping in Victoria are down from last year (329), passenger numbers are up by over 100,000.

Victoria Buzz Staff
Your inside source for Greater Victoria happenings. Established in 2012.

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