Halifax Cruise ship season picks up steam


Thousands of visitors will be milling about the Port of Halifax and many city attractions over the next few months as the port’s cruise season enjoys the busiest time in its schedule.

The cruise season will end Nov. 5 and there will be 81 vessel calls from now until the last vessel leaves port.

The port will host approximately 120 calls this season, with the total passenger count expected to be about 220,000.

Thursday will be one of several multi-ship days, with Norwegian Majesty, Carnival Triumph, Caribbean Princess and AIDAaura all in port and bringing over 9,000 passengers. Carnival Triumph and Caribbean Princess both carry over 3,000 passengers.

There will be several days over the remaining weeks when the port will host three or more vessels. The busiest day is expected Oct. 8 when five ships — Carnival Triumph, Crown Princess, GTS Constellation, Jewel of the Seas and AIDAaura — bring over 11,600 passengers.

An annual highlight of the cruise schedule is the arrival of the Cunard Line vessels. On Oct. 2, the 2,014-passenger Queen Victoria, the second-largest ship ever built by Cunard, will makes it inaugural call. That visit will be followed by another Cunard liner, the 2,600-passenger Queen Mary II, on Oct. 6 and Nov. 3.

According to a 2008 economic impact study, the Halifax cruise business generated approximately $50 million from passenger, crew and cruise line expenditures.

“Cruise has emerged as somewhat of a sleeping giant and is serving to bolster revenues for not only the tourism sector but the community at large,” said Patricia Lyall, president and CEO of Destination Halifax, in a news release. “As a port of call destination, we have the unique and enviable opportunity to make an impression on this captured audience, thus influencing the potential for repeat visits.”