Ship sail

9 million and counting: Victoria’s cruise ship industry hits passenger milestone

It would be hard to find a more fitting pair of passengers to mark a landmark moment for cruise ships in Victoria than Rosa and Jesus More.

When one of the Washington state residents got off his Princess Cruises liner and traveled to Ogden Point on Friday, he became the nine millionth cruise ship passenger to arrive in the city. The couple have been to the British Columbia capital more than 30 times, with some of those trips being part of the 237 cruises they’ve taken together.

“We love the city, it’s beautiful,” Rosa said. “It’s beautiful, the people are fantastic.”

Ian Robertson, CEO of the Greater Victoria Ports Authority, called the milestone an important day for the community after a few quiet years at Port Victoria.

“Being able to celebrate the nine millionth guest, I think, is a real indication that cruising is back,” he said on Friday.

The Port Authority expects nearly 800,000 passengers to visit Victoria this season, but reaching the nine million mark has taken decades.

Robertson said the cruise industry contributes $143 million to the local economy every year. The return of the vessels means the authority can also invest in community amenities, he added, giving the example of a million dollar restoration and repair work on the Broughton Street pier which should be completed this fall.

“Without the return of the cruise and the money we would earn from the cruise, we would not be able to make these repairs.”

Ian Robertson, CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbor Authority, speaks July 22 just before the arrival of the nine millionth passenger on the cruise ship from Victoria. (Jake Romphf/press team)

While ships docking in Victoria were half full to start the season, those arriving now have an average capacity of around 75%. The Port Authority has also seen full ships arrive.

After receiving a few parting gifts for being the standout passengers, the Mores looked forward to returning to one of their favorite local spots, Butchart Gardens.

Their travels were hampered for 18 months due to the pandemic, so cruise liner devotees were eager to return.

“As soon as they opened, we were the first on board,” Rosa said.

A cruise liner which arrived in Victoria on July 22.  (Jake Romphf/News Staff)

A cruise liner which arrived in Victoria on July 22. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)

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