BAYSIDE, N.B. -- The world’s largest freezer vessel was docked at one of Atlantic Canada’s smallest ports yesterday afternoon.

Bringing in a load of fish from Alaska, the almost 17,000 tonne Star Courage was the largest vessel to ever dock at the Port of Bayside, and workers hope visits like this will make the port more attractive to other vessels of similar size and capacity.

“Bringing this large ship in, it shows that we can do it. We can do it very efficiently at low cost and I think it’s the thing of a future. You’re going to see more and more of these larger ships coming in,” said Port of Bayside CEO, Darrell Weare.

This milestone for the private port in Charlotte County was made possible by a recent expansion at the on-site warehouse which increased storage capacity by 50 per cent.

“The current capacity was around 10 thousand tonnes, and we expanded the facility with about 5,000 tonnes, which gives us the ability to receive these big ships with a lot of cargo, which is all destined for the east coast here in North America,” said Evert Du Ruig, Kloosterboer Bayside Liaison Office.

This is the 11th vessel to dock at the privately owned port this year.

“Our thoughts are that we are just going to continue to expand, diversify and all the companies operating here, I think share that vision with me,” Weare said.

While yesterday’s powerful winds caused power outages and cancelled ferry services around the Maritimes, but wind has little impact on vessels the size of the Star Courage.

“This kind of ship, this little wind is nothing. It you’re sailing with a small ship, it’s dangerous but this kind of ship – it’s OK,” said captain, Enrique Tillermo.

Port officials say Bayside is a hub and a pit stop for these kinds of ships before they head to Europe, and as this one sets sail, even bigger boats could be on the horizon.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Lyall.