When the Star Princess arrives at the Ogden Point cruise ship terminal at noon today, she will kick off a cruise season in Victoria that will bring more than 550,000 visitors to the city. (Photo above: Soon to be a familiar sight for the season, Ogden Point's cruise terminal with cruise ships at berth. Photo courtesy Greater Victoria Harbour Authority.)
Arriving at noon today with more than 2,500 passengers, the Star Princess is the first of more than 240 estimated cruise ship calls planned for Ogden Point this year. The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority has made some improvements to the terminal, and to cruise operations, to prepare for the season.
“We’re looking forward to another successful season at Ogden Point,” said Greater Victoria Harbour Authority CEO Ian Robertson. “Cruise lines, and cruise passengers, have told us how much they love visiting Victoria, and we know our partners in tourism and transportation will be providing another exceptional experience in 2017.”
A recently completed $200,000 renovation project at Ogden Point’s Pier B terminal will move passengers more efficiently through customs and out to ground transportation pickup and walking routes.
GVHA has made significant improvements to transportation operations for environmental sustainability. In 2016, fee incentives were introduced, to encourage coach operators to stage newer buses at Ogden Point, with lower emissions. This has had great results: in 2015 the average bus age on the terminal was 1986. In 2016, the average bus age was 2003. Similar incentives are in place for 2017, to shift the average age further.
GVHA, in partnership with CVS Tours, has also introduced the first purpose-built, fully electric double decker bus, which will operate as a pilot project at Ogden Point through 2017. CVS has also introduced new technology on its buses to mitigate backup beeping noise on the terminal.
Cruise passengers, local residents, and industry partners can also get revised and updated access to arrival departure times for all cruise ships coming into Ogden Point with the refreshed victoriacruise.ca website. The site will be the most updated real-time snapshot of cruise schedules throughout the season.
The cruise season will wrap up on October 5, and is expected to bring an estimated $100 million in economic value to the region. In 2017, Victoria will have ship calls from cruise lines including Princess Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Lines, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Hapag-Lloyd Line, Seabourn, and ResidenSea Inc.