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Charlottetown, Sydney ports anticipate record-breaking cruise ship season

A cruise ship is pictured in Sydney, N.S. (Courtesy: Port of Sydney) A cruise ship is pictured in Sydney, N.S. (Courtesy: Port of Sydney)

Two Maritime port cities anticipate 2023 to be a record-breaking year for cruise ship traffic.

The Port of Sydney is expecting 112 vessels and more than 200,000 guests.

Marlene Usher, the CEO for the Port of Sydney, says it will be a record-breaking year for the city.

“We have surpassed our pre-COVID numbers and are positioned well for the future. Our success is due in large part to our industry partners and our winning reputation as an Island destination. The economic benefits to our region are significant and the future looks bright,” she said in a release Thursday.

Port Charlottetown is also expecting a record-breaking season as it prepares to welcome 91 ships, more than 150,000 passengers and 63,000 crew.

Port Charlottetown says it is the largest number of passenger arrivals in the port’s history, and a 40 per cent increase compared to arrivals in 2022.

“The Island’s cruise industry had a $42.2M economic impact in 2019. With passenger numbers in 2023 surpassing 2019, it is anticipated that the industry will continue to contribute significantly to the Island’s economy,” said P.E.I. Minister of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture Bloyce Thompson in a release.

The majority of the ships are set to arrive in Charlottetown during September and October.

Meanwhile, the Port of Halifax says it is expecting 191 vessels with around 325,000 cruise guests.

Nova Scotia’s cruise ship season is scheduled to start on April 22 in Halifax with the arrival of Norwegian Dawn, a Norwegian Cruise Line vessel. The first vessel to arrive in Sydney will be the Holland America Line Zaandam on April 25.

The season will wrap up in November.

According to the Halifax Port Authority, the combined economic benefit from cruise ships in Halifax and Sydney is more $225 million, based on data from 2019.

Earlier this month, the Port of Saint John released its numbers for the 2023 cruise ship season, with 86 vessels carrying almost 200,000 passengers.

The Port of Saint John says cruise ships bring in more than $68 million annually to Saint John and southern New Brunswick. Top Stories

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