VICTORIA — The first international cruise ship to dock in Canada in more than two years arrived in Victoria Saturday morning.

Ian Robertson, chief executive officer of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, says the Koningsdam cruise ship arrived around 9:40 a.m., about 20 minutes early and was cleared by the Canadian Border Services Agency before its 1,215 passengers began exploring the capital.

Robertson says cruise ship passengers were required to have two shots of the COVID-19 vaccine and a negative test at least 24 hours before they boarded. 

In early March, Canada gave cruise ships the go-ahead to dock in Canadian ports for the season, which runs from April to November.

The first ship of the season was supposed to dock Wednesday, but Robertson says the Caribbean Princess decided to forego its stops in Victoria and Vancouver and headed straight to Portland, Ore., which is not uncommon for cruise liners. 

He says the authority is expecting around 790,000 passengers, the same number as it saw in 2019.

— By Brieanna Charlebois in Vancouver.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 9, 2022.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press