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Explorer of the Seas captain had a blast in Nanaimo

Capt. Sullivan fires the cannon in Bastion Square (Photo: Nanaimo Port Authority)
As part of Wednesday's maiden call festivities in Nanaimo, BC, Explorer of the Seas Capt. Rick Sullivan lit a fuse to fire the historic cannon in Bastion Square.

Sullivan praised Nanaimo for its amenities, waterfront and 'warm hospitality,' citing passenger feedback and his own experience.

Other maiden call rites included a plaque presentation on board with city, Snuneymuxw and port dignitaries. Chief John Wesley provided a First Nations' blessing for the ship and presented a Noel Brown rendering of 'Salish Spirit.'

'It is so important for us to work on building attractions and to find a way to keep passengers in our community. We can do it and we must work together,' Wesley said.

Mayor Bill McKay greeted passengers in the cruise terminal during the morning and joined the on-board presentation. 'I am so gratified to see and hear how passengers are enjoying the city and our Nanaimo hospitality,' he said. 'We want to see visitors return and visit again when they have more time to take in everything we can offer. I’ve met so many great people today and enjoyed their enthusiastic reactions to Nanaimo.'

Nanaimo Port Authority president and ceo Bernie Dumas expressed his pleasure with the team approach to welcoming one of the largest ships ever to visit Nanaimo and the Central Island.

'Reactions from passengers are very positive and while Nanaimo has provided a red carpet for the first ship of this season, the true test of Nanaimo as a destination resides in reactions and feedback from passengers,' Dumas said.

The port will welcome Celebrity Infinity on Friday when the ship makes its fifth visit to Nanaimo. Celebrity Infinity is scheduled to return for a sixth on Sept. 19.