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Halifax's cruise ship industry ready to rebound

Following a two-year hiatus, cruise ships will return to Halifax Harbour on April 26
030122 - Cruise Halifax
Cruise ships in Halifax Harbour

Following a two-year pandemic-related hiatus, Halifax's cruise ship industry will officially resume on April 26 with the arrival of two vessels, Norwegian Getaway and Ocean Navigator.

As the industry rebuilds, the president and CEO of the Halifax Port Authority expects to start off in a strong position.

"With 152 expected vessel calls in 2022, we are at 85 per cent of where we left off in 2019, which is a great position to be in," Captain Allan Gray said in a news release.

"Nova Scotia is a place that people want to visit, and the cruise lines want to come here. We remain a safe, welcoming destination with natural beauty and authentic experiences to offer." 

In 2019, the cruise ship industry pumped around $165 million into our local economy, benefiting tour operators, attractions and local bars, shops and restaurants, along with businesses selling food, drink and other supplies to restock the vessels before they return to sea.

Before the 2020 season was scrapped due to COVID-19, the Port of Halifax had been expecting a record-breaking number of ships and passengers.

And as travel restrictions dragged on, the federal government extended its ban on cruise ships, also resulting in the cancellation of the 2021 season.

However, that ban expired on November 2021, and cruise ships are once again allowed in Canadian waters. 

"This is what all of us involved in the shore excursion side of the Atlantic cruise industry have been waiting for," said Dennis Campbell. the CEO of Ambassatours Gray Line. 

"We are so excited to be doing what we love, which is planning and preparing to welcome cruise guests to our region and give them a taste of authentic Maritime hospitality."

Highlights of the Port of Halifax 2022 cruise ship season include: 

  • 13 days when three ships are visiting 
  • Three days when four ships are visiting
  • One day when five ships are visiting (Oct. 11)
  • One visit from Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas on June 7, the largest cruise vessel to call on Halifax to date
  • Two visits from the Cunard Line Queen Mary 2, on July 6 and October 5
  • One visit from Disney Cruise Line Disney Magic, on October 14 

Halifax's cruise ship season is scheduled to wrap up Nov. 5 when Oceania Cruises' Insignia departs at 4 p.m.


Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana and lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the editor for CityNews Halifax.
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