SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- The port of Saint John, N.B., is expecting a banner cruise ship season, with nearly a quarter of a million passengers and crew to visit in 2018.

Port Saint John president Jim Quinn says it will be the fourth consecutive year of growth and a significant increase in the number of cruise guests.

The port is expecting 75 ships, bringing about 176,000 passengers and 70,000 crew.

Quinn says that's a 19 per cent increase in passengers over 2017.

There will be 14 days this year when Saint John has two ships in port and two days where there are three ships in the harbour.

Quinn says cruise activity brings $49.9 million into the provincial economy each year.