Ogden point is hosting a mammoth cruise ship today: The Norwegian Bliss is the newest addition to the Norwegian Cruise Line, and the largest ship to ever visit Victoria. It also belongs to an exclusive list as one of the 15 largest cruise ships in the world.
The Norwegian Bliss hosts 20 decks, is 994 feet long, and weighs 169,028 tonnes. She will be able to bring over 4,200 passengers and 1,500 crew members on regular trips, but on Friday a special selection of people are arriving. The inaugural voyage from Seattle will bring over 1,200 travel agents to partake in a day tour of the capital city.
“It’s really wonderful to have them showcase the destination,” says Tourism Victoria CEO Paul Nursey. ” What’s really exciting about them coming is that it shows that we’re a popular and relevant destination.”
The travel agents will follow various agendas to see the city’s highlights over the next day, before returning aboard to sell their information to incoming visitors.
The Norwegian Bliss will be making regular runs to Ogden Point every Friday from June to October, as a part of the line’s tour between Seattle and Alaska.
Nursey says the extra 4,000 people per week will make a huge impact for the local economy.
“It really positively affects smaller businesses when our city is busy and full,” he says. “It gives businesses the confidence to invest in themselves because they can expect regular customers.”
Nursey says Tourism Victoria is trying to build up the city to have a year-round tourism season, and that hosting a larger cruise ship is a positive step towards reaching that goal.
“This is part of a broader integrative mix, including cruise businesses and media conferences,” he says. “We’re really trying to build a year round season here…this is one good news story.”