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Nova Scotia's 2024 cruise season its longest ever, with more summer calls

MSC Poesia, left, is scheduled to be the first ship in for the 2024 cruise season on April 6 with Insignia, right, the last, on Nov. 3
Nova Scotia is looking at its longest cruise season this year, with calls from April to November, and robust numbers at Halifax and Sydney.

The season is set to open April 6 in Halifax with MSC Poesia's arrival, and to end Nov. 3 with a call by Oceania Cruises' Insignia.

Record calls at Sydney

Sydney expects a record 115 cruise calls, including a 17% increase in visits during the summer months compared to 2023. Seven ships are making maiden calls.

Sydney has 24 two-ship days, five three-ship days and one four-ship day.

'We are very excited about the upcoming season and proud of the continued growth and economic investment the cruise industry brings to the region,' said Lorna Campbell, CEO, Port of Sydney. 'Cape Breton is an incredibly beautiful island destination and our reputation among cruise passengers is what continues to drive our success and ability to generate significant economic benefits for our communities.'

Halifax increasingly a summer destination

Halifax expects 203 cruise calls, including a 35.7% increase from June to August compared to last summer. There will be 11 maiden calls and more overnight visits and luxury ships.

The port has 20 three-ship days, four four-ship days, and one five-ship day. Cunard's Queen Mary 2 is booked for two calls, on Canada Day (overnight) and Sept. 25.

'We are very focused on the sustainable development of our cruise industry,' said Capt. Allan Gray, president and CEO, Halifax Port Authority. 'The 2024 season will run longer and see ship visits spread out across eight months. This is good news for our port, local businesses and our provincial tourism industry. We know Nova Scotia is a top-tier travel destination, and we look forward to sharing that with the visits to our shores this year.'

New tender facilities

The Port of Halifax will also be implementing tendering operations, allowing cruise ships to moor north of Georges Island and tender passengers ashore on days when there are multiple vessels in port.

New shoreside infrastructure is being developed at Pier 24 to receive tenders.