PHOTOS: First cruise ship since start of pandemic lands in Victoria

A view from inside the large vessel overlooking Victoria’s Breakwater District. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)A view from inside the large vessel overlooking Victoria’s Breakwater District. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
The ship is home to different styles of decor on every floor, with ample seating and large dining rooms where guests are able to enjoy their meals. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)The ship is home to different styles of decor on every floor, with ample seating and large dining rooms where guests are able to enjoy their meals. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
There are many activities available on the ship, including a vast theatre where entertainers perform for guests onboard. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)There are many activities available on the ship, including a vast theatre where entertainers perform for guests onboard. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line said that he is thrilled to be the first cruise line back into Canada after such a long absence. Victoria will see six of Holland America Line’s ships visiting through to the end of October. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line said that he is thrilled to be the first cruise line back into Canada after such a long absence. Victoria will see six of Holland America Line’s ships visiting through to the end of October. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Ian Robertson, CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority hands a plaque to the captain of the ship, Robert Jan Kan. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)Ian Robertson, CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority hands a plaque to the captain of the ship, Robert Jan Kan. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Rob Fleming, minister of transportation and infrastructure, said the cruise ship industry is vital to B.C. tourism at a celebratory event Saturday (April 9). (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)Rob Fleming, minister of transportation and infrastructure, said the cruise ship industry is vital to B.C. tourism at a celebratory event Saturday (April 9). (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
The Koningsdam, which landed in Victoria on Saturday morning, is nearly 300 metres long and holds up to 2,650 passengers. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)The Koningsdam, which landed in Victoria on Saturday morning, is nearly 300 metres long and holds up to 2,650 passengers. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)

The Breakwater District in Victoria saw its first cruise ship visit since the pandemic began just over two years ago, as the Koningsdam docked 905 days after the last vessel.

The last ship to call at a Canadian port was in October 2019, and industry partners and stakeholders gathered at the port to celebrate a reawakening tourism industry and a return to normalcy. Victoria is the first port in Canada to open its doors to a ship and other ports across the country will steadily do the same in the weeks ahead.

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

ALSO READ: Victoria’s 2022 cruise passenger counts projected to return to pre-pandemic levels

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

MLA Rob Fleming, B.C.’s minister of transportation and infrastructure, said that the cruise ship industry is vital to B.C. tourism, and to thousands of people whose livelihoods rely on the regular arrival of ships.

“Working with our partners, including the federal government, health officials, industry and communities, our government has been doing everything we can to ensure B.C.’s cruise ship industry comes back strong. We know that cruise ship passengers want to experience British Columbia, and we are thrilled to welcome them back,” said Fleming.

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


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