First cruise ship of the expected record-setting season arrives in Cape Breton
Published Sunday, April 30, 2017 6:48PM ADT
Passengers poured off Holland America's Veendam in Cape Breton Sunday, the first cruise ship of the 2017 season to arrive at the Port of Sydney.
This year is expected to be the biggest cruise ship season with 90 calls scheduled, and there's excitement about the economic impact it will bring.
On Sunday, some passengers piled onto tour buses bound for museums. Others say they prefer to stay on shore for a walking tour of Sydney's historic landmarks.
"Here, you can go inside,” says cruise ship passenger Frank Zebert. “You can see things; you learn more about the history than you do if you're just on the bus."
Repeat visitors are also among the tourists.
"We’ve been here twice, we're coming back,” says cruise ship passenger Doug Kirby. “We love it! Beautiful people."
More than 130,000 cruise ship passengers and crew are expected to visit Cape Breton this season.
"I’m excited, I'm definitely excited,” says Bernadette MacNeil, cruise marketing manager for the Port of Sydney. "We deliver here at the Port of Sydney. We have tremendous staff; we have a great cruise community that is always positive and excited about the season."
This season is expected to translate into an economic impact of roughly $30-million.
"They spend money while they're here,” says MacNeil. “They sustain tourism around the island during the shoulder seasons of May to June and September to October. It's great for the port, it's great for employment."
Some highlights on the Sydney cruise ship schedule include, a visit by the Disney Magic in October. The Queen Mary 2 docks in September and the Polar Prince comes in July, as part of Canada 150 celebrations.
The final call of the year is on October 30.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald