BC tourism businesses eagerly awaiting the return of cruise season will have to wait a little longer.
The first cruise ship due to dock in Victoria since 2019 has canceled its visit, meaning the first arrival in the city will be on April 9 instead of April 6.
The ship that was to have the distinction – Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess – is instead preparing for an extended drydock in Portland, Ore.
In a statement, the cruise line said it had made the “difficult decision” to cancel the San Francisco-Vancouver portion of the trip “to allow more time to prepare” for drydock.
“This additional time will ensure the vessel is up to our highest standards ahead of the upcoming busy summer season,” the company said.
Princess Cruises’ statement did not address the COVID-19 situation on board the ship, which is currently listed as “orange status.” on the United States Centers for Disease Control website.
“Orange status” means there are confirmed cases of COVID-19 on board the ship and they meet the CDC’s investigation threshold of at least 0.3% of passengers and crew. crew aboard the ship have tested positive.
The Caribbean Princess was scheduled to stop in Astoria, Oregon and Victoria before ending its journey in Vancouver. The four-day sailing has now been canceled and the company has announced that it is rebooking flights and hotel rooms for customers continuing their journey from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
“Princess also knows the cancellation is hugely disappointing and is making things right for the 1,600 guests who were scheduled to sail with us on this trip with a full cruise fare refund and 100% future cruise credit. equal to the cruise fare paid on this trip,” the company said.
With the Caribbean Princess no longer calling in Victoria this week, the first cruise ship of the season is now expected to be Holland America’s Koningsdam, which is arrival scheduled for April 9.
The Caribbean Princess was also scheduled to be the first ship of the season in Vancouver. Koningsdam is expected to arrive there on April 10.