“Wondering why these two cruise ships aren’t able to dock in Victoria, BC?” asked Twitter user Lori Cascaden. “Windy day,” the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority responded. The two ships did in fact, continue on to Seattle without making their scheduled stop at Ogden Point Saturday evening due to high wind gusts. (Twitter/Lori Cascaden)

Wind gusts turn away cruise ships from Victoria harbour

Weather conditions make docking difficult for large ships

Two boats of full of tourists missed a chance to dock in Victoria this week thanks to wind gusts of as high as 33 kilometres per hour.

Two ship calls – The Star Princess, from Bermuda, and the Norwegian Bliss – were cancelled Saturday night, making the difficult decision to leave Victoria before they even arrived.

READ ALSO: Ogden Point dock expansion delayed but on budget: GVHA

“It’s a pretty uncommon circumstance for ships not to be able to call in to Ogden Point,” said Brian Cant, manager of communications and marketing for the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA). “It’s dependent on the ship as well and which pier they’re using.”

The final decision whether to come into harbour is made by the ship’s master (or captain), Cant added.

Both ships were supposed to stop in Victoria as their final stop before heading to Seattle.

“With sustained high winds it just makes docking harder and ships are better when they’re untied,” Cant said. “In port, it’s typically okay, but it’s kind of the maneuvering in of the ship itself.”

They made the decision to continue on their route.”

Cruise ships that call into Victoria piers pay a per person fee, along with a cruise improvement fee to the GVHA.

“It’s definitely a loss of revenue with each missed call,” Cant said. “But it’s mostly the loss of the opportunity for those guests to explore Victoria.”

READ ALSO: Harbour Authority ramps up for duckling season

The missed calls on Saturday were the second and third of the season. Last year only two ships cancelled their calls due to weather.

This season the GVHA has had 80 ships dock in Victoria, not counting the three missed calls. There are 181 calls remaining for the year – bringing the total scheduled number to 264 for 2019.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

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