A friendly gateway to the great outdoors

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is investing in its facilities to allow more visitors to take advantage of the host of activities and attractions Vancouver Island has to offer

A friendly gateway to the great outdoors
This article was first published in the Itinerary Planning Special Report 2017. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

Situated on the southern tip of Canada’s pacific coastline, Vancouver Island provides a diverse and interesting mix of activities for visitors – from fishing and scuba diving, to hiking and skiing.

The gateway to the island for many is Victoria Harbour in Victoria, the island’s largest city. Here, due to warm Japanese currents, the climate is temperate and the area is protected from the North Pacific rains and winds by nearby mountain ranges, including the Olympics, Cascades, Coast Mountains and the Island Ridge.

In order to ensure that an equally warm welcome is provided as soon as passengers step off the ship, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority has invested in a series of upgrades to its facilities.

As well as being home to four deep-sea berths, all with excellent approaches, depths, decks and mooring, the Ogden Point terminal has also recently undergone a series of changes to help facilitate fast, efficient and comfortable transitions for passengers.

This includes a focus on sustainability in the port’s ground transportation offerings. Specific incentives are now in place to monitor the age and emission levels of the coaches that operate in the terminal, and are starting to have a real impact.

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is also piloting the world’s first purpose-built, fully electric double decker bus on the port’s cruise shuttle loop. Upgraded access to electric charge stations in the terminal has also been introduced.

Other upgrades include enhancements to signage, mapping and guest services, with more being done to encourage visitors to walk to nearby sites. Pedicab and rickshaw services have also been moved so they are very much front and centre as passengers exit the terminal.

It is hoped that the enhancements to the port will make it as easy and stress free as possible for visitors to Victoria and Vancouver Island to enjoy everything on offer.

“Victoria is a city that rewards an interest in and enjoyment of the outdoors, whether its touring one of our many spectacular gardens, going whale watching or ziplining, or taking a stroll along our waterfront to Fisherman’s Wharf,” says Lindsay Gaunt, director of cruise development at Greater Victoria Harbour Authority. “One of our goals is to give visitors to Victoria a seamless experience to access our natural beauty.”

Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley
12 January 2018