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Halifax expects larger ships, more cruisers

Halifax expects larger ships, more cruisers
With 135 calls carrying approximately 240,000 passengers expected during the 2016 cruise season, the Port of Halifax is preparing for another busy year.

The numbers compare to 141 calls and 222,309 passengers in 2015.

The passenger capacity for a single vessel record in Halifax will be broken twice. Norwegian Breakaway, scheduled on June 29, has capacity for 4,500 passengers as the highest number of cruisers on a single vessel until Anthem of the Seas arrives Sept. 1. It has capacity for 4,905 passengers.

The season will begin April 30 with the arrival of Holland America Line's Veendam.

HAL has been a tremendous partner over the years, according to Cathy McGrail, director of cruise and corporate communications for the Port of Halifax, who noted Veendam is among the vessels equipped to use shore power.

'Starting the season in this way is a good representation of the partnerships and innovations that have helped develop a strong cruise offering in Halifax,' McGrail said.

Other 2016 highilghts include eight inaugural calls, more than 30 shore power connections, two visits by Queen Mary 2 (the first on July 3), three calls by Disney Magic (the first on Sept. 26) and a five-ship day on Oct. 7. Sept. 15 is expected to be the busiest day with more than 9,000 passengers.

'The cruise sector is important to Nova Scotia’s tourism economy,' according to Martha Stevens, acting ceo, Tourism Nova Scotia. 'Cruise passengers spend money on such things as food, shopping and excursions, and are introduced to some of the unique experiences that make Nova Scotia an attractive vacation destination.'

A recent economic impact report released by the Halifax Port Authority found the cruise business is now worth an estimated $104.3m in economic benefit for the local economy. This includes passenger spending on tourism-related activities as well as provisioning associated with cruise ships. Halifax is a full-service port that is able to offer a full range of goods and services across the entire marine industry.