Canadian Cruise Port Expecting 170,000 Passengers in 2024

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Port Saint John is expecting another busy cruise season, with 10 ships making their inaugural calls on the Canadian destination beginning in May 2024.

In addition, 11 vessels will pay overnight calls at Port Saint John, giving guests the chance to enjoy the hospitality of New Brunswick and the beautiful Bay of Fundy region.

Port Saint John Expects 170,000 Guests, 75 Cruise Ships in 2024

More than 170,000 cruise guests and 75 ships are expected to call on Port Saint John in 2024, according to officials at the Canadian port.

Port Saint John’s cruise season officially opens on May 8, 2024, with the arrival of MSC Cruises’ MSC Meraviglia. It concludes on November 24, 2024, with a visit by Oceania Cruises’ Insignia.

The highlight of the 2024 season in Port Saint John will be 11 overnight stays by vessels. That’s up from just four overnight visits in 2023.

“We know our local businesses and tourism partners are who make us shine on the world stage,” says Natalie Allaby, director of cruise excellence at Port Saint John. “We’re looking forward to seeing how they can wow in a new way during the 2024 overnight calls.”

Cruise Ships in Saint John
Photo Courtesy: Port Saint John

This year also brings 10 cruise ships making their inaugural calls on Saint John. Those vessels include Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Jade, Viking Cruises’ new ocean ship Neptune, and luxury line Azamara Cruises’ Azamara Journey

Busiest Day in Port Saint John History Saw More Almost 6,000 Guests

Port Saint John sits on 300 acres of waterfront land at the mouth of the Saint John River. Its location was first explored by the French explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1604 but didn’t become a formidable port until the 1780s.

The port operates on both sides of Saint John River, with two terminals devoted to cruise ships. The 2023 cruise season, which wrapped up on November 7, 2023, saw a record-breaking 172,193 cruise guests visit the city through 74 ship visits. 

The busiest single day in port history happened on May 30, 2023, when Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Oasis of the Seas on May 30 brought 5,931 guests and 2,113 crew members to Saint John for the day.

Read Also: Canadian Port Celebrates 3 Millionth Cruise Guest

Port of Saint John
Port of Saint John

Cruise visitors to Saint John have a wide variety of popular excursions to choose from, including history walking tours, visits to local breweries, and boat tours of the Fundy Coast.

One unique attraction is Reversing Falls, a series of rapids on the Saint John River where the flow of water reverses against the prevailing current when the tide is high.

Fall Cruises Boost Saint John’s Traffic

The fall months of September and October are often the busiest months for Port Saint John, as the fall foliage of the region attracts cruise guests who enjoy watching the colors change.

For 2024, more than 60 ship visits are scheduled for September and October. Only 14 are scheduled between May 8 and August 30, 2024. 

With two visits by the mega-ship MSC Meraviglia scheduled for May, more than 9,000 cruise guests will see Saint John that month. MSC Meraviglia is sailing week-long Canada and New England voyages from New York in May with stops in Newport (Rhode Island), Boston, (Massachusetts), Portland (Maine), along with Saint John and Halifax in Canada.

Two other Eastern Canadian ports – Halifax and Sydney – likewise expect a record-breaking year in 2024. The Port of Sydney has 115 calls scheduled in 2024, a 17% increase in calls is expected compared with 2023. Halifax expects 203 cruise calls in 2024, 35.7% over 2023’s numbers. 

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