The ships are coming in

The ships are coming in

< Back to Articles | Topics: Special Feature


Heather Laura Clarke

More than 190 cruise vessels will be calling on Halifax during the upcoming season, bringing more than 320,000 guests. While that’s fewer vessels than last year, the ones scheduled to come this year are larger and carrying more passengers overall — and Halifax is ready to greet them.

“It’s exciting when we have a five-ship day and see upwards of 10,000 cruise guests, plus all of the crew associated with that many ships,” says Lane Farguson, manager of media relations and communications for the Halifax Port Authority. “I like to watch the people leaving the Seaport area to explore on their own, or hop on one of the many buses going to Peggy’s Cove or Lunenburg or a Valley wine tour. You can feel the excitement in the air.”

July 26, 2019 will be an especially big day for Halifax as it hosts two queens simultaneously— the Queen Elizabeth (294 m) and the Queen Mary II (345 m) — while Oct. 2 is set to be the busiest day of the season, bringing five ships with more than 10,000 guests.

An economic impact study from three years ago showed an average of 250,000 cruise guests were worth $123M in economic benefit to Halifax, so Farguson says that’s been increasing with the bump in vessel calls and guest totals.

“The cruise industry fits in with other tourism offerings in Nova Scotia. Full credit to Develop Nova Scotia for having such a vibrant, animated waterfront that makes it comfortable for guests to walk from the Seaport area onto the boardwalks and into downtown to have the experiences they’re looking for,” says Farguson.

The Port of Halifax works with the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission to encourage cruise guests to take a ferry ride across the harbour and experience its shops and restaurants. Farguson says they also work with other ports in Atlantic Canada — like Charlottetown and St. John’s and Sydney —
in order to grow the industry together.

“Most of the vessels coming from Boston and New York are not just coming to Halifax and then turning around and going back,” says Farguson. “The cruise ports in Atlantic Canada work together to ensure we’re all providing that consistently high quality of experience that guests are looking for. We want them to love their time with us so they come back again someday.”

< Back to Articles | Topics: Special Feature

Stay Connected

Subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter and receive important updates on Halifax Chamber events, Member benefits and advocacy news.

Grow your business