Victoria attracts an average of 550,000 passengers per year (Image: Greater Victoria Harbour Authority)
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) aims to capitalise on the growing number of itineraries in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest by becoming a homeport for international cruise lines.
Currently, Victoria attracts an average of 550,000 passengers per year, making it Canada’s busiest cruise port-of-call. The port is also a base for a couple of smaller, boutique cruise lines.
To showcase the port’s amenities and its upgrade plans for the Ogden Point terminal, GVHA joined with Tourism Victoria and Victoria-based cruise partners at Seatrade Cruise Global in Fort Lauderdale, Florida from 13-16 March 2017.
Partners included Western Stevedoring, Tourism Victoria, Butchart Gardens, Seaspan, CVS Transportation, Envirosystems, King Brothers, Orca Spirit Adventures, LA Limousines, Clipper Vactions, Victoria Pedicabs, West Coast Agency, Phillips Brewing, Sea Cider, and Experience Victoria. The region’s mayor, Lisa Helps, also joined the delegation.
“The harbour authority, tourism and marine industry partners have done excellent work in building Victoria as a cruise destination,” said Helps. “The next step – and what I was really there to support – is for Victoria to become a homeport; this presents an enormous economic opportunity.”
According to the Victoria delegation, it returned from Seatrade Cruise Global with almost twice the level of interest it expected from cruise lines looking for potential homeporting opportunities.
“It’s important for the cruise lines we do business with to see that the city is aligned, and welcoming to cruise,” said Ian Robertson, CEO of GVHA. “And for a city looking to grow and diversify in the near future, this is a great opportunity. Having the mayor join our team made a big difference.”