In an effort to reduce traffic , pollution and noise as requested by the local James Bay community , a new option of travelling via ‘Water Shuttle’ to downtown Victoria will be piloted for the 2014 Alaska Cruise season.
Passengers will enjoy a short ‘Water Shuttle’ ride of 30 minutes which includes loading and unloading with a narration into the downtown harbour from the Ogden Point cruise terminal.
Quote: ” Apr 04, 2014
(News Release) VICTORIA — Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) is expanding on the Victoria cruise shuttle service to include a pilot water shuttle service from Ogden Point to the Inner Harbour. The 40-passenger Victoria Harbour Ferries vessel the “Linda Mae” will shuttle cruise ship passengers and crew from the newly built multi-purpose float at Ogden Point to the Steamship Terminal float on the lower causeway ”
Our first cruise ship into Victoria BC (Vancouver Island) at Ogden Point for the Alaska 2014 season will be the Holland America Line : ms Zaandam on May 1, 2014 and this same ship will be the last ship in to close our season on October 6, 2014.
Total ship visits will be 208 for 2014, subject to change and weather.
Expected passengers will be 450,000 plus (estimate) plus crew 🙂
Last week I told you about a suggestion to have a Gondola System in place to move passengers from Ogden Point to the Inner Harbour of Victoria. As in all things new for Victoria , the local James Bay Community met with the developers to say NO. At this point they have elected to consider another option and the Harbour Authority meanwhile came back with a proposal for 2014 that will allow passengers to either take double decker buses (High Volume) or a boat shuttle ( tender) into the Inner Harbour itself where you can dock almost across from the Fairmont (Empress) Hotel.
On another note , cruise ships with berthing, passengers, crew and dry-dock repairs, upgrades brought in about 200 million dollars over the last two years including around 680 jobs per statistics of the GVHA (Greater Victoria Harbour Authority) published this weekend.
The latest news is we completed addition of safety railings to the Breakwater Wall so anybody including myself 🙂 can now walk out across the sea wall with NO fear of falling into the rocks or the sea, A lot of noise happened last winter when it was stated it would happen from an Insurance and Safety view. The railing are strong and up to chest height .
We saw dogs , children and folks in wheelchairs using the Breakwater a few days ago and they can now go out further in the Ogden Point Harbour to watch ships arrive and depart from a different view.
Picture by Celebrity (Solstice Grand Epernay Dining Room)
The Victoria Harbour Authority has been making changes since last year to accommodate ships, passengers and crews including working with the local community to spread the traffic flow in ways to reduce noise and pollution. Ideas of having shuttle boats from the piers into the downtown area are being looked including having the Whale Boat Tours start at Ogden Point for cruise passengers.
Ogden Point Cafe (picture by Ogden Point Cafe )
One recent announcement that will be interesting to watch is that the Ogden Point Cafe was announced as being sold but the operation will continue at the moment and the Dive Shop will remain. Ogden Point Cafe has built up a following of locals and cruise ship passengers and crew where you can relax with good harbour views and excellent food. The management changed the place last year so more seats were available and ordering ones food was more efficient for all.
Well, our local Alaska cruise-ships docking at Ogden Point BC is now past the halfway point at 148 ships visited now out of a scheduled 210 official visits. I’ve taken some more pictures this year and will post. The Harbour Authority has improved the area for passengers, transportation and the cruises ships with future plans for water taxis to the Victoria Inner Harbour from the ship next year. Next week it is expected that off the Holland America Ship Amsterdam we will welcome a passenger who makes up the 4th million visitor to Victoria as they disembark. Interesting cruise news this week I read in ‘Ports and Bows‘ that RCL CEO has indicated the North American market is loosing its mark as the largest market as cruise ships move to the growing markets of Europe and Australia / New Zealand. The Alaska market is growing again and its departure ports are adjusting to allow folks to fly to more economical airports or less changes including the use of car / train and chartered buses. It is expensive for folks to fly to Europe during the prime vacation periods what with taxes, fuel costs, surcharges and length of time at airports for security and boarding. The large market for large ships seems to be the 7- 10 day cruise length as it is very cost effective compared to a land vacation and resort for families. I wonder if tipping will be adjusted to European customs, my humour for the day? Cheers /Rob
Victoria: First Ship in today April 16, 2011 A sunny but very cold day today (6C -11C) Took my spouse and Pinot (border collie) down to see the first ship arrive in Victoria today to start the Alaska season 2011 for us.
Crystal Symphony was in all day today and will be back on Monday, not a soul on the balconies. (it was cool and windy)
As usual (start of the Alaska Season) all the ‘NIMBY’ folks are writing about the pollution and noise in the area that the ships dock. Fair enough to want to have changes for health and environment reasons but do not cut off the hand that feeds you. As I posted last year , work with the port and cruise authorities and interested parties , they all have a vested interest. This year we had a report prepared by a local economist who lives in the area so would have a vested interest. In his view, we are loosing monies based on non specific items, a suggestion is we have small boats take passengers from the docks to our downtown and area. The basis is to reduce carbon footstep. This of course does not help folks who need help in walking and prefer buses or taxis or local horse carriages. It is an option to explore but not impose much like other ports in the world.
Quite sure if we dredged our inner harbour deeper and moved cruise ships to dock in that new area they would still make an issue as it is still located in the ‘NIMBY’ James Bay area.
From an economical view I’d suggest we include these positive markers: – Our local ship yards will be refitting three ships (RCL, Disney and HA) in the next two months with crew and suppliers and special work crew in our hotels and bars et cetra and I’m not even including the workers in the dockyards. This is I believe our fourth year or more in having been awarded these contracts. – Many visitors here for a day or a few hours have reported they will come back for a longer stay in our city and area. Much like when I visited Tortola last November for a day, have decided we should return for a week or more. – Traffic is busy but normally for the first and last few hours of a ship’s arrival, – Our taxis are mainly Toyota Prius Battery powered, Hybrids, http://www.toyota.ca/cgi-bin/WebObjects/WWW.woa/8/wa/vp?vp=Home.Hybrid&wosid=2RaptlQ6zfFjeYKc5VVlRM&language=english and our buses are mainly fueled by Bio fuels – Excursions go to our many tourist sites employing local people including students. – The taxes for the NIMBY folks would increase a lot if we did not have this industry – If we did not have these cruise ships docking here and proven the services we offer, then refit contracts would probably not have happened for our dockyards.
Ogden Point Docks (by RobBar 2010)
Ogden Point Docks; Ships in port (by RobBar 2010)
I think people tend to forget we are a seaport (if limited due to the main cruise season) much like others around the world but we provide an alternative to Vancouver for access to shipping lines and offer a clean safe city to visit. The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) is working to enhance our port facilities and with all its partners includng the cruise lines, let’s work together and address all concerns while welcoming visitors and crew to our shores. http://www.victoriaharbour.org/
Welcome to the crew and visitors of the Crystal Symphony , may you return to visit our shores again and always have safe travels .
Victoria 2011 Cruise Ship Schedule The 2011 Port of Victoria Cruise Ship Schedule for its Alaska season is now available. This year we will have Oceana, Crystal and Disney ships docking in Victoria BC Canada at Ogden Point. Also, a first is P&O’s Arcadia on a 72 day cruise to Alaska from / to Southampton, arriving May 22, 2011 all day. A total of 210 ships will dock during the season from mid April 2011 to September 2011. Disney Wonder will be docking May 2, 2011 from 7am PST to 6:30pm PST. Hopefully I’ll get the car from Liz..
Our docks are currently being dredged to a deeper depth to ensure ships can dock and we have completed work ensuring the newer ships can tie up. Attached is the link for this schedule which can be downloaded as a PDF or Web browser viewed. http://gvha.v3.ca/c_deepseacruises.php Greater Victoria Harbour Authority
Today an announcement was made to complete the dredging project (2nd phase) started in 2009.to allow larger cruise ships to dock in Victoria, which is an important hub in the Alaska cruise industry and the Pacific Ocean Fibre Laying ships. ————————————————————————————- Ogden Point Dredging/blasting Projecthttp://gvha.v3.ca/f_ogdenpoint.php
Environmental Screening Report GVHA (Greater Victoria Harbour Authority) is in the final stages of the cruise ship terminal expansion project that began in the fall of 2009 with the installation of the mooring dolphin. In this stage of the project, seabed rock and sediment are being removed in order to safely berth large vessels on the north side of Pier B.
When: January 14, 2011 – February 28, 2011 Work schedule: Monday – Saturday from 7am – 7pm, possibly Sundays with reduced hours The drilling and blasting components of the work must be completed by February 15, 2011 when the herring run begins. / Our ocean environment concerns./
It was reported on the local news today that nine ships in the prior 2010 Alaska season out of the 230+ had to skip the port due to the wave and wind action and the reduced depth of the pier will now be increased.in time for the commencement of the 2011 Alaska season for Port of Victoria. We expect 210 ships this year including new comers ‘Disney Wonder’ , Oceana and Crystal Cruises. Seethis link for the 2011 Schedule. http://www.victoriaharbour.org/c_deepseacruises.php
Welcome aboard and nice to meet you. My wife and I are seasoned cruisers having first dipped our toes into the world of cruising in 1990, a one week cruise on board the Cunard Countess. The majority of our cruising has been with two cruise lines, Cunard and P&O. We have, however, sailed on 21 different cruise ships, some many times over, on 11 different cruise lines while completing 619 cruise nights on board.