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Newfoundland and Labrador chalk up a solid cruise season

Newfoundland vista (Photo: Anne Kalosh)
The Cruise Association of Newfoundland and Labrador reported a solid cruise season, despite weather causing five ships to cancel and one ship's mechanical issues resulting in 13 fewer calls.

The province chalked up 53 calls by 20 cruise ships from 15 lines. There were 35,162 passengers and 18,161 crew, for a total of 53,323 visits.

At Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, just to the south, there were six port calls by six ships from six lines. The French islands hosted a combined 4,084 visits from passengers and crew.

The six-month Newfoundland and Labrador cruise season kicked off on the west coast in Corner Brook with a visit by Marina on May 23 and ended on the Northern Peninsula in L’Anse aux Meadows with Marco Polo's Oct. 4 call.

The capital city of St. John’s welcomed Newfoundland and Labrador’s largest cruise ship to date, Regal Princess, carrying upwards of 5,000 passengers and crew.

St. Anthony, Battle Harbour, Francois, Hebron, Nain, L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, Red Bay National Historic Site, Torngat Mountains National Park and Woody Point are some of the ports that received cruise ships during the 2015 season.

'The cruise industry is truly a provincial affair,' said Dennis O'Keefe, mayor of St. John and chairman of the Cruise Association of Newfoundland and Labrador. He cited visits ranging from Rose Blanche on the south coast of the island handling its first cruise ship to Nachvak Fiord in northern Labrador.

'Cruise lines and passengers alike make meaningful and heartfelt connections to the people and places in our province, resulting in extremely high guest satisfaction ratings for all our ports, and cruise lines coming back year after year,' O'Keefe said.

Cruise Newfoundland and Labrador expects 22 ships during the 2016 season carrying a projected 50,000 passengers and crew. Maiden calls include Boudicca, Zuiderdam and Royal Princess.