Victoria’s goal of becoming a home port for cruise ships is closer to becoming a reality.
Ian Roberston, CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, says Ogden Point will continue to see larger ships in the near future as the ships are unable to sail under the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver.
“Vancouver and Seattle will always continue to be premiere destinations and premiere home ports and this is not about trying to unseat either Vancouver or Seattle. It’s really about giving the cruise lines other options to home port,” he says. “Both ports are becoming challenged in terms of their capacity and Victoria is very well positioned.”
Victoria is Canada’s busiest port of call. During this season alone, 227 ships and more than 536,000 passengers are scheduled to stop in the B.C. capital. Becoming a home port would mean ships start and end their journeys in Victoria, rather than just stopping for a quick visit. Supplies like fresh water and food would also be loaded onto the ship in the city. Robertson confirms the response from the cruise industry to the aspirations of becoming a home port have been extremely positive.
“The cruise lines like coming to Victoria. The crews give us excellent ratings, so do the passengers, and that’s very important,” Robertson adds. “What’s also important to the cruise lines is that there are enough activities here in Victoria for people to take part in and there are various types of activities that are available.”