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PEI heads into long season with new ships, big and small

Pearl Seas Cruises
Newcomer Pearl Mist - two overnights in October
Inaugural visits by vessels big (Ruby Princess, Legend of the Seas) and small (Europa, Pearl Mist) are a highlight of Prince Edward Island's cruise season, which opens Thursday.

Also novel this year are two overnight stays, by Pearl Mist, on Oct. 2 and 24. The ship is operated by new brand Pearl Seas Cruises, the sister company of American Cruise Lines.

Holland America Line's Veendam will make 2014's first cruise call at the Historic Charlottetown Seaport during 2014.

Sixty-eight calls and 93,000 passengers are expected during a season that stretches to Nov. 8 with a final visit by Royal Caribbean.

'We’ve seen the cruise industry continue to grow here on Prince Edward Island over the past number of years, and this is a wonderful opportunity to expand operations for the local tour operators and retailers,' said Stan MacPherson, chair Charlottetown Harbour Authority board.