Record Cruise Year at Ogden Point
Oct 25, 2012
(News Release) VICTORIA — The last cruise ship of the season, the MS Zaandam, slipped her lines Wednesday, October 24 and eased away from the Ogden Point pier, marking the end of Victoria’s busiest cruise season. Victoria was visited by 224 vessels bringing a total of 503,675 passengers from April to October 2012.
Along with a record-setting year for passenger volumes, the 2012 season offered a number of other highlights. Victoria was visited by two new regular weekly callers, Disney Wonder with 14 calls and Norwegian Jewel with 19 calls.
Ogden Point had its first five cruise ship day on May 31, with over 9,000 passengers arriving by ship.
“We were very pleased to welcome the Disney Wonder for its inaugural visit to Victoria and to British Columbia,” said Sonterra Ross, Chief Operating Officer. “The Norwegian Jewel’s Friday daytime calls brought a nice balance to our mix of day and evening calls.”
The growth in volume of ship visits and passengers is accompanied by Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) continued efforts to mitigate the impacts of cruise activity. The first Ogden Point Eco Awards were given out this season to recognize cruise lines that consistently burned low-sulphur fuel while at berth in Victoria in 2011. Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises were recognized for their commitment to improve local air quality around the port.
GVHA also partnered with ICBC, VicPD and the City of Victoria to implement a speed management program. The strategy was aimed at reducing the incidents of speeding from ground transportation operators servicing cruise ships.
Operators that were caught speeding on or off the property were subject to temporary loss of their Ogden Point operating permit.
“The significant growth in cruise over the past 10 years has brought many benefits for the community,” Ross continued. “We recognize that this growth has also brought impacts for the port’s neighbours. GVHA is committed to managing these impacts to support working harbour activity.”
Planning has begun for the 2013 season. Ogden Point will welcome its first Solstice-class vessel. The Celebrity Solstice is a 315 metre ship with a capacity of 2,850 passengers. The largest ship to visit Victoria in 2012 was 296 metres with a 2,600 passenger capacity.