Saint John to play host to nearly 5,000 hurricane-diverted travellers
Published Tuesday, September 12, 2017 8:14PM ADT
The Port City will be hosting thousands of unexpected travellers this week after they were diverted to avoid Hurricane Irma.
This was already supposed to be one of the busiest weeks of the summer on the Saint John waterfront. Tourism operators are excited to see it get even busier.
"Going on to 5,000 more people that we were expecting this week," says Betty MacMillan of the Saint John Port Authority.
Cruise lines have been sending ships on alternate voyages ever since Hurricane Irma became a threat to public safety.
"Definitely weather-related,” MacMillan says. “We've got seven ships coming this week. We were only supposed to have five, but Carnival Pride and the Mein Schiff 6 are both coming to Saint John, so we're pretty excited"
Shore excursion companies are bringing in extra tour guides and busses to accommodate the additional visitors arriving on short notice.
"We are finding our guides and busses and getting everybody ready to be able to offer these unexpected guests just the same Bay of Fundy experience that we offer to the guests that we were expecting," says Melanie Colpitts of Aquila Tours.
The Port of Halifax has also received word of at least one additional cruise ship this week because of weather conditions south of the United States. The ships were originally scheduled to cruise the Caribbean.
One of the diverted ships will be an inaugural call by a German cruise line.
“They're from everywhere,” says vendor Jodi Bell. “It's not just from the U.S., they'll be from all over the world and I like that."
Saint John has lost cruise ship visits in the past because of tropical storms or hurricanes along the East Coast. But overall, most Maritime ports will see more benefit when cruise ships are diverted because of bad weather.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.