Halifax, NS - April 14, 2008 - Today marks the start of the annual cruise season at the Port of Halifax, which is scheduled to run between April 14 and November 9 and is expected to bring 215,000 - 220,000 cruise passengers to Nova Scotia aboard 131 vessels. In 2008, the economic impact by cruise passengers and crew visiting Halifax is expected to reach an estimated $25 million.
The first ship of the season is the MS Amadea, a cruise ship chartered by a well-established German cruise line, Phoenix Reisen. This vessel has never previously called the Port of Halifax, which makes it one of ten cruise inaugurals scheduled during 2008. This year the Port expects nearly 40,000 more cruise passengers than in 2007 to visit our region on ships calling the Port of Halifax. "We are pleased to mark the beginning of the 2008 cruise season and welcome the MS Amadea as it makes its inaugural call into the Port of Halifax," said Tourism, Culture and Heritage Minister Bill Dooks. "Our ports offer a variety of shore experiences and I'm certain the passengers of the MS Amadea will enjoy what Nova Scotia has to offer."
Homeporting, when a cruise ship begins or ends their itinerary in Halifax, is an industry niche that is growing at the Port of Halifax. Catherine McGrail, Manager of Cruise Development at the Port of Halifax says "the Port and our partners have been working hard to develop Halifax's reputation as the premier port of call in Atlantic Canada." McGrail added she is pleased to see the results of their efforts and reports that 12 homeporting calls are expected from cruise lines Hapag-Lloyd, Canadian Sailings Expeditions, Polar Stars Expeditions and Linblads Expeditions which will bring the National Geographic Explorer to the Port for the first time.
Other highlights of the 2008 cruise season include:
Pavilion 22 Shops & Services at the Halifax Seaport are open on cruise ship days to the public and cruise passengers one half hour before the vessel docks until one half hour after the departure
Ten new cruise ships will call Halifax this season: the Amadea, the Caledonia, the Pacific Venus, the Caribbean Princess, the HSH Prince Albert the Eurodam, the AIDAaura, the Royal Princess, the National Geographic Explorer and the Balmoral
A total of 18 cruise lines are calling Halifax including four that are calling for the first time AIDA Cruises, Canadian Sailing Expeditions, Japan Cruise Lines, and Lindblad Expeditions.