The cancellation of Victoria’s first 2022 cruise isn’t abnormal for the start of any season, says Greater Victoria Harbour Authority’s CEO, who has faith that Canada and the U.S.’s COVID protocols will allow cruises safely into Victoria throughout the summer.
The Caribbean Princess cancelled its Wednesday arrival to Ogden Point on Saturday (April 2) for maintenance.
However, the same day, the U.S. Centre for Disease Control listed the Princess with an “orange” COVID status, meaning more than nine (or more than 0.3 per cent) of their capacity of 3,080 passengers tested positive for the virus. The CDC has since started an outbreak investigation.
Holland America Line’s Koningsdam, the next cruise scheduled to arrive at Victoria this Saturday (April 9), has the CDC’s yellow status; less than seven of the 2,650 capacity are positive for COVID and the CDC is monitoring the vessel.
Despite the closeness of the Caribbean Princess’s cancellation to discovery of an onboard COVID outbreak, the lost arrival is typical for the start of any cruise season, said harbour authority CEO Ian Robertson. In the past two weeks, the authority has received at least 10 notices for added or cancelled cruises to Victoria. Their yearly budget accounts for five per cent of expected cruises cancelling arrival due to anything from maintenance to high winds.
The Caribbean Princess was also on a repositioning cruise – a shorter voyage transitioning from the Atlantic or South Pacific to the Pacific Northwest ocean which more often sees port-of-calls cancelled for maintenance.
The harbour authority follows Transportation Canada’s ship-to-shore COVID checklist, which requires plans for isolating COVID-positive passengers on their cruise or in local hotels, among other measures.
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