Ship boat

First cruise ship since pandemic began lands in Victoria – Abbotsford News

A view from inside the tall ship overlooking the breakwater district of Victoria. (Megan Atkins-Baker/Press Team)
The ship is home to different decor styles on each floor, with plenty of seating and large dining areas where guests can dine.  (Megan Atkins-Baker/Press Team)The ship is home to different decor styles on each floor, with plenty of seating and large dining areas where guests can dine. (Megan Atkins-Baker/Press Team)
Many activities are available on the ship, including an extensive theater where artists perform for guests on board.  (Megan Atkins-Baker/Press Team)Many activities are available on the ship, including an extensive theater where artists perform for guests on board. (Megan Atkins-Baker/Press Team)
Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line, said he was delighted to be the first cruise line to return to Canada after such a long absence.  Victoria will see six of Holland America Line's ships visiting through the end of October.  (Megan Atkins-Baker/Press Team)Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line, said he was delighted to be the first cruise line to return to Canada after such a long absence. Victoria will see six of Holland America Line’s ships visiting through the end of October. (Megan Atkins-Baker/Press Team)
Ian Robertson, CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbor Authority, presents a plaque to the ship's captain, Robert Jan Kan.  (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)Ian Robertson, CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbor Authority, presents a plaque to the ship’s captain, Robert Jan Kan. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, said the cruise ship industry is vital to tourism in British Columbia during a celebratory event on Saturday April 9.  (Megan Atkins-Baker/Press Team)Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, said the cruise ship industry is vital to tourism in British Columbia during a celebratory event on Saturday April 9. (Megan Atkins-Baker/Press Team)
The Koningsdam, which landed in Victoria on Saturday morning, is almost 300 meters long and can accommodate up to 2,650 passengers.  (Megan Atkins-Baker/Press Team)The Koningsdam, which landed in Victoria on Saturday morning, is almost 300 meters long and can accommodate up to 2,650 passengers. (Megan Atkins-Baker/Press Team)

Victoria’s Breakwater district saw its first cruise ship visit since the pandemic began just over two years ago, as the Koningsdam docked 905 days after the last ship.

The last ship to call at a Canadian port was in October 2019, and industry partners and stakeholders gathered at the port to celebrate the tourism industry reawakening and getting back to normal. Victoria is the first port in Canada to open its doors to a ship and other ports across the country will do the same on a regular basis in the coming weeks.

“The safe resumption of cruises in Victoria and Canada is the culmination of two years of hard work, advocacy and planning. I am extremely grateful to our partners and the community for their support. Today is an emotional day for our entire team,” said Ian Robertson, CEO of the Greater Victoria Ports Authority.

In July 2021, federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra announced that cruise ships would be allowed to return to Canadian ports beginning in November 2021.

MP Rob Fleming, British Columbia’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, said the cruise ship industry is vital to BC tourism and to thousands of people whose livelihoods depend on the regular arrival of ships.

“Working with our partners, including the federal government, health officials, industry and communities, our government has done everything it can to ensure that the cruise ship industry in British Columbia is coming back strong. We know cruise ship passengers want to experience British Columbia and we are excited to welcome them back,” said Fleming.

The first cruise season since 2019 will see a total of 364 ships from April to early November and an expected 780,000 passengers.


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Cruise ShipsGrand Victoria