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Halifax welcomes fourth largest cruise ship in the world

The fourth largest cruise ship in the world -- the Royal Caribbean International Oasis of the Seas -- arrived at the Port of Halifax Tuesday morning.

The ship is 360 metres long and weighs 226,838 tonnes -- making it the largest cruise vessel to call on Halifax to date.

“We have a little bit more than 5,000 of our guests aboard. Our maximum capacity is 6,700 guests and 2,300 crew-members,” said the ship’s captain Bo Peterson.

Oasis of the Seas boasts 16 decks, a basketball court, water park, 30-foot diving platforms, and a zip line.

Peterson first sailed into Halifax 19 years ago.

“Of course, it’s something that you remember for life and there has been many firsts when it comes to Oasis,” he said.

Passengers on board were a welcome sight for tourism operators who have struggled for the last few years under the weight of the pandemic.

“All indications [are] that we are pacing strong so it really does feel like we are into full season right now. It really feels like three years in one,” said Sean Buckland, with Ambassatours, a motor coach tour company.

Some visitors hopped on shuttles to places like Peggy’s Cove and the Annapolis Valley. Others are content with strolling the city streets on their own.

“Right now we’re about to go get some food and then we are going to go to the art museum,” said cruise ship passenger Evan Clarke.

Fellow passenger Frank Lombardo said he enjoyed his time in the city.

“Very, very nice. I’m very impressed with how clean everything is, coming from New York where you are literally stepping over garbage,” said Lombardo.

The president and CEO of the Port of Halifax says Tuesday’s arrival is a sign the cruise industry is bouncing back from the pandemic.

“We were saying that the cruise industry was growing, that the desire to bring the biggest ships here and get more passengers through Halifax was coming and here’s a good example,” said Cpt. Allan Gray.

Some people gathered at Point Pleasant Park to watch the ship's arrival Tuesday morning.

The ship was scheduled to leave Halifax at 6 p.m. Tuesday. It is expected to dock in Saint John, N.B., around 9:20 a.m. Wednesday.

Halifax welcomed its first cruise ship of the season -- and the first ship following a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic -- on April 26.

According to the Port of Halifax, the cruise ship industry pumps more than $170 million into the local economy. Top Stories

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