By Josie Bannerman

Pier B hummed with excitement April 3 with the arrival of the Star Princess, first cruise ship of the 2016 season. About 227 scheduled visits are expected this summer, bringing 533,000 or more passengers to our city. Compared with prior years, more cruise ships this year will arrive earlier in the day, and spend a little longer in port. The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) is taking steps to mitigate transportation issues in James Bay with the introduction of an electric powered shuttle bus and a program to encourage more passengers to walk downtown. The GVHA says cruise ships contribute over $100 million to the capital region’s economy every year. The schedule for the 2016 season is available at: