Welcoming the 2024 Cruise Season: Victoria Greets its First Ship!

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) welcomed the first cruise ship of the season with the arrival of the Norwegian Bliss at Ogden Point in Victoria, British Columbia on April 3.

After Chief Councillor Jerome Thomas of Xʷsepsəm Nation granted permission to the ship’s crew and passengers to come ashore, the Lək̓ʷəŋən Traditional dancers welcomed the passengers.

“I am pleased to be here today to welcome the Norwegian Bliss to the traditional and unceded territory of the Lək̓ʷəŋən People. I have had the opportunity recently to participate in a cruise symposium, and I’m excited for future opportunities for our members in this industry,” said Thomas.

“We join businesses and local citizens in welcoming the world to Victoria and to experience its natural beauty and the rich Lək̓ʷəŋən culture,” said Robert Lewis-Manning, CEO of GVHA. “The cruise industry’s economic benefit to the region continues to grow and we are encouraged by recent instances of cruise lines choosing Victoria not only as a tourist destination but as a place to conduct maintenance and repair work.”

The Norwegian Bliss arrived at the Breakwater District during its five-night Pacific Coastal: San Francisco and Victoria sailing which departed from San Francisco. After leaving Victoria, the ship headed for Vancouver, Canada, where it’s scheduled to arrive on April 4.

“I welcome the Norwegian Bliss and all the ships, their staff and passengers who will visit our beautiful City of Gardens this year,” said City of Victoria Mayor Marianne Alto. “We’re delighted to share our vibrant downtown and hospitality and invite them to explore Victoria’s downtown shops, dining experiences, historic landmarks and scenic waterfront during their visits.”

The GVHA anticipates a total of 315 cruise calls and 910,000 visitors this cruise season. Two cruise ships will make their inaugural visit to Victoria this summer including the Explora I on April 17 and the Celebrity Edge on May 23.

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