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Nearly 1m cruisers expected in Atlantic Canada this year

Halfax, left, and Sydney, right are two of the leading cruise ports in Atlantic Canada
Atlantic Canada is preparing for a banner 2023 with the region expected to welcome 950,000 cruisers on more than 600 ship calls.

From late April until early November, ports across the region will be bustling with travelers from around the world.

'We're thrilled to have such a promising cruise season ahead of us,' said Sarah Rumley, executive director of the Atlantic Canada Cruise Association. 'The number of ships and passengers expected this year is unprecedented, and it demonstrates the strength and resilience of the cruise industry in Atlantic Canada.'

The 2023 cruise season will begin on April 21, with the niche port of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia welcoming expedition ship Viking Octantis.

More than 10 cruise ships will be making their regional debut this season, including new brand Explora Journeys' Explora 1.

Economic impact

Before the pandemic, cruise ships contributed $347m to Atlantic Canada's economy and were responsible for more than 2,000 jobs.

When cruise operations resumed last year after a two-year hiatus, regional ports handled 474 calls and 622,811 passengers.

'ACOA is pleased to support the cruise industry as it showcases Atlantic Canada to the world during this anticipated record-breaking year,' said Ginette Petitpas Taylor, minister of official languages and minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). 'The cruise industry plays a key role in tourism, drawing people to these special places, creating jobs and growing the economy for years ahead.'

See also 'Halifax up for busy cruise season including 12 maiden calls'