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Nova Scotia cruise ports eye return to growth

The Port of Halifax, left, is expecting 191 calls carrying approximately 325,000 passengers, and Sydney, right, forecasts a record 112 calls with more than 200,000 passengers
With more than 300 expected ship calls across the province, Nova Scotia's cruise sector is returning to growth this year.

Besides the leading ports of Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia's niche ports — Shelburne, Lunenburg, Pictou County and Louisbourg — will be hosting ships.

The combined economic benefit associated with cruising in Halifax and Sydney is over $225m, based on pre-pandemic 2019 economic impact data.


Halifax is expecting 191 calls carrying approximately 325,000 passengers, and Sydney forecasts 112 calls with more than 200,000 passengers.

The season is scheduled to start April 22 with Norwegian Dawn's arrival to Halifax and will run until Nov. 9 when Silver Shadow departs Halifax. Sydney’s first vessel will be Holland America Line's Zaandam on April 25, and the last call will be Nov. 5, by Oceania Cruises' Insignia.

'The return of the cruise industry in 2022 contributed to a very strong recovery for tourism across the region,' said Capt. Allan Gray, president and CEO, Halifax Port Authority. 'With our partners, we are looking forward to growth in 2023, and finding new and exciting ways of further developing this industry for our province and extending the economic benefits that come with cruise.'

Halifax expects 11 maiden calls and has 23 three-ship days, one four-ship day and two five-ship days. Among the notable ships are Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas (May 31) and Queen Mary 2 (July 2 and Oct. 1).

The cruise schedule is here

Sydney's record season

2023 will be a record-breaking year for Sydney, according to Marlene Usher, CEO, Port of Sydney.

'We have surpassed our pre-COVID numbers and are positioned well for the future,' Usher said. 'Our success is due in large part to our industry partners and our winning reputation as an Island destination. The economic benefits to our region are significant and the future looks bright.'

Sydney expects to host 24 cruise lines and 14 inaugural calls. There will be 19 two-ship days, four three-ship days and one four-ship day. Among the notable ships: Norwegian Prima (May 17) and Queen Mary 2 (Oct. 9).

Sydney's cruise schedule is here

Dennis Campbell, president and CEO, Ambassatours Gray Line, echoed that after a 'solid recovery in 2022, we are so excited to be preparing for a year of growth in the cruise sector.'