Plans for the maiden call were pushed back three days after Princess Cruises opted to dry-dock the Caribbean Princess in Portland for some repairs.
The first cruise ship of the season – and the first since 2019 – will arrive in Ogden Point a few days later than expected.
Plans for the maiden call have been pushed back to next Saturday after Princess Cruises opted to dry-dock the Caribbean Princess in Portland for some repairs. The ship was expected on Wednesday.
This means Holland America Line’s Konigsdam, which is scheduled to arrive at 2 p.m. Saturday, will be the first ship to arrive at Ogden Point in 905 days. The last cruise ship call in Victoria was on October 18, 2019, as the cruise industry was sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021.
“These schedule changes are quite common at the start of the season,” Brian Cant, spokesman for the Greater Victoria Ports Authority, said Saturday.
The Port Authority learned of the change on Friday.
“Vessels can be moved around a bit. We probably had about 30 schedule changes,” Cant said, noting that most of those happen at the start and end of the season.
The Caribbean Princess will remain on Victoria’s stopover list throughout the season, with 139 visits through October. He was heading to Victoria from San Francisco when he decided to stop in Portland for some quick repairs, Cant said. It will stop in Vancouver before continuing to Alaska.
The Port Authority had planned a major media and VIP event on Wednesday, including tours of the ship, with provincial Transport Minister Rob Fleming and Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps to welcome the inaugural ship. Those plans have now shifted to Konigsdam’s Saturday finish, Cant said.
“We have been waiting for cruise ships for two years and we will have to stop for a few more days,” he said.
The Greater Victoria Port Authority is planning 350 ship calls carrying 759,000 passengers from April to October.
Protest group Extinction Rebellion planned to protest the arrival of the first ship on Wednesday.
On a Facebook event page, the group said its goal was to set up “an information picket, using banners to momentarily stop vehicles leaving the parking lot at the Ogden Point facility so that we can hand out leaflets summarizing the climate and environmental damage caused by cruise ships.”