Maritime Ports Prepare for Record-Breaking Cruise Ship and Passenger Numbers

Maritime ports are expecting a busy summer and fall. Halifax, Sydney, N.S., and Saint John, N.B., announced their 2024 cruise ship schedules this week, and all three are expecting hundreds of thousands of passengers between April and November.

“The 2024 season will run longer and see ship visits spread out across eight months,” said Captain Allan Gray, president and CEO of the Halifax Port Authority. “This is good news for our port, local businesses, and our provincial tourism industry. We know Nova Scotia is a top-tier travel destination, and we look forward to sharing that with the visits to our shores this year.”

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According to a news release from the Halifax and Sydney ports, the Nova Scotia capital will host 203 cruise calls in 2024, up from 180 cruise visits in 2023. Eleven ships will make their inaugural visits to Halifax.

Sydney will see 115 cruise ships during its cruise season, which begins on April 7 with the arrival of the MSC Poesia. Sydney saw 110 ships last year, according to Nicole MacAulay, manager of cruise operations.

“Cape Breton is an incredibly beautiful island destination and our reputation among cruise passengers is what continues to drive our success and ability to generate significant economic benefits for our communities,” said Lorna Campbell, CEO of Port Sydney.

In 2024, Port Saint John anticipates welcoming 75 ships and more than 170,000 guests. Their season begins on May 8 with the arrival of the MSC Meraviglia, which last visited the city on Dec. 21.

74 ships and more than 172,000 passengers visited Saint John in 2023. Ten new ships are expected to arrive this year.

According to Port Charlottetown’s website, the city expects 96 ship calls and 166,000 visitors this season, which begins April 8 with the arrival of the MSC Poesia.

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