Star PrincessThe Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) has kicked off the 2017 cruise season with the Star Princess arriving at Ogden Point yesterday with more than 2,500 passengers.

“We’re looking forward to another successful season at Ogden Point,” said GVHA CEO Ian Robertson. “Cruise lines and cruise passengers have told us how much they love visiting Victoria, and we know our partners in tourism and transportation will be providing another exceptional experience in 2017.”

He said that a recently completed $200,000 renovation project at Ogden Point’s Pier B terminal will move passengers more efficiently through customs and out to ground transportation pickup and walking routes.

GVHA has also made improvements to transportation operations for environmental sustainability. In 2016, fee incentives were introduced, to encourage coach operators to stage newer buses at Ogden Point, with lower emissions. This has had great results, according to the GVHA: in 2015 the average bus age on the terminal was 29 years. In 2016, the average bus age was 13. Similar incentives are in place for 2017, to shift the average age further.

GVHA, in partnership with CVS Tours, has also introduced the first purpose-built, fully-electric double-decker bus, which will operate as a pilot project at Ogden Point through 2017. CVS has also introduced new technology on its buses to mitigate backup beeping noise on the terminal.

Before the cruise season wraps up on Oct. 5, 550,000 passengers will have visited. They are expected to bring an estimated $100 million in economic value to the region. In 2017, Victoria will have ship calls from Princess, Holland America, Norwegian , Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival, Oceania, Regent, Crystal, Disney, Hapag-Lloyd, Seabourn and ResidenSea.