Last week, PortsToronto welcomed the M/V Victory II, a 200-passenger luxury cruise ship, into the Port of Toronto, marking the ship’s first visit to Toronto and inaugural voyage on the Great Lakes.
The arrival of the M/V Victory II into the Port of Toronto underscores the importance of the ever-growing Great Lakes cruise ship business and the role it plays in contributing to Toronto’s booming tourism industry.
“As one of Canada’s largest major inland ports, which is only minutes from downtown, the Port of Toronto is becoming an increasingly popular cruise destination as it offers a unique urban experience to travelers making their way through the magnificent Great Lakes,” said Geoffrey Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, PortsToronto. “Approximately 6,000 passengers arrive in Toronto each year on a cruise ship and often stay for six or seven nights, frequenting the city’s restaurants and attractions. This is a little-known component of Toronto tourism but one that makes a significant contribution to Toronto’s thriving tourism industry.”
“It’s an exciting day for us as we bring our second vessel the Victory II, into coastal cruise service here on the Great Lakes. With our second ship we have become the largest operator of cruises on the Great Lakes, as well as the only all-inclusive cruises in the market visiting the most ports with the greatest variety in itineraries,” said Bruce Nierenberg, Chairman, Victory Cruise Lines. As we sail all five Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence, we bring the most passengers to diverse destinations from Thunder Bay to Halifax and the Port of Toronto has become one of our anchor ports on our very popular cruise between Toronto and Chicago. We look forward to visiting Toronto often on Victory II.”
“Offering exceptional scenery, safety and all of the amenities of global cruise excursions, the Great Lakes cruise industry has been on a remarkable climb, especially niche adventures on small to medium-sized vessels,” said Mark Fisher, Chief Executive Officer at Council of the Great Lakes Region. “The bi national Great Lakes has everything it needs to compete and become a marquee destination for global travelers seeking a one of a kind experience.”
Last year, a record 16 passenger cruise ships carrying 5,700 passengers, visited PortsToronto’s Cruise Ship Terminal – a more than 120 per cent increase in cruise ship traffic since 2016. This season, 21 ships are expected to make Toronto a port of call, an increase of approximately 31 per cent. Visitors arriving through the Port of Toronto contributed to a record year for tourism in the City of Toronto, with more than 43.7 million tourists making Toronto a destination in 2017.
The Port of Toronto, one of Canada’s largest major inland por
ts, is situated on the northwest shore of Lake Ontario. For over 100 years, the Port of Toronto has been connecting Toronto to the world. Located minutes from Toronto’s downtown core, the Port provides a seamless network of cost-effective inter-modal links to road, rail and air transportation, serving as a unique and crucial piece of economic infrastructure. In addition to moving cargo, the Port also welcomes cruise ships and passengers from around the globe through the Cruise Ship Terminal.
For more than 100 years PortsToronto has worked with its partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to enhance the economic growth of the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. PortsToronto owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which welcomed more than 2.8 million passengers in 2017; the Outer Harbour Marina, one of Canada’s largest freshwater marinas; and, Terminals 51 and 52, which provide transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses at the Port of Toronto. PortsToronto is committed to fostering strong, healthy and sustainable communities and has invested more than $10 million since 2009 in charitable initiatives and environmental programs that benefit communities along Toronto’s waterfront and beyond. PortsToronto operates in accordance with the Canada Marine Act and is guided by a nine-member board with representation from all three levels of government.
About Victory Cruise Lines
With the addition of its newest ship M/V Victory II, Victory Cruise Lines becomes the largest cruise operator serving the combined Great Lakes, Canada and The St. Lawrence Seaway. Victory Cruise Lines’ two vessels sail throughout these regions from May thru October each year. Our all-inclusive cruising features 5 Star food and Hotel Service. All shore tours and experiences are included featuring escorted tours and attractions, transportation, and guide services. The top sites throughout the region are featured on all Victory Tours. The M/V Victory I runs mainly between Toronto and Chicago on a season long series of 9-night cruises calling on the most popular destinations and touching all 5 Great Lakes. The M/V Victory II runs a series of 9-night cruises between Montreal and Detroit, as well as new itineraries to the Western Great lakes featuring Lake Superior, and Wisconsin. Both the Victory I and Victory II feature cruises sailing through the St. Lawrence Seaway. To learn more about Victory Cruise Lines, click here.
The Council is a bi national non-profit organization that is dedicated to deepening the United States-Canada relationship in the Great Lakes Region. Its focus is on creating a stronger, more dynamic culture of collaboration in harnessing the region’s economic strengths and assets, improving the well-being and prosperity of the Region’s citizens, and protecting the Great Lakes for future generations. It achieves this mandate by conducting evidenced based policy research, connecting diverse perspectives from all levels of government, industry, academia and the non-profit sector, and acting as a strong voice for the Region’s varied economic, social and environmental interests.