2020 to usher in first-ever Alaskan cruises originating from Victoria
MIKE KOZAKOWSKI, CITIFIED.CA
Published July 22, 2019
For the first time ever Victorians will have the option of booking an Alaskan cruise with a departure from James Bay’s Ogden Point terminal, Citified has learned.
Despite a million passengers and crew arriving annually to the Capital City on over 250 cruise ships en-route to Seattle or Vancouver from Alaska, the option of starting such a trip locally has never been available. Until now.
The peculiarity of hosting hundreds of cruise ships without any embarkations will come to an end in 2020 with four Cunard Line sailings catering to Victoria and Vancouver Island passengers who will have the option of starting and ending their voyage at Ogden Point.
“Cunard Line has decided to give it a shot to see if there will be interest among Vancouver Islanders to start and end their Alaskan cruises in Victoria,” says Jeremy McLeod, a franchise owner of two Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Victoria and Comox that are part of a chain granted exclusive rights to market and sell the Victoria departures on behalf of the cruise line operator.
"There’s definitely a buzz about town in Comox over these sailings. Initially I thought this would generate more interest on the south end of the Island, so it’s great to see so much excitement Island-wide.”
Cunard Line’s Alaska-bound departures from Victoria will commence on July 30 aboard the 2,100 passenger Queen Elizabeth. The cruise will last 11 nights and will be the longest among the four scheduled journeys.
Subsequent sailings will depart on August 10th for a nine night sailing, August 19 for nine nights, and a ten night voyage on August 28th.
“The Queen Elizabeth will be positioned for embarkation in Victoria, then she will sail on to Vancouver’s Canada Place where additional passengers will board,” McLeod says. “On the return leg the ship will dock at Ogden Point for debarkation then continue on to Vancouver.”
Founded in 1840, Southampton, UK-based Cunard Line maintains the world’s only trans-Atlantic passenger service between Europe and North America. Cunard returned to Ogden Point after a twenty year absence and its four sailings will be among Ogden Point’s some-260 cruise ship arrivals for the year, bringing a collective 700,000 passengers and 300,000 crew to the Capital. C
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