Canadian Cruise Port Expecting Record-Breaking Season

Port Saint John is expecting a record number of cruise ship calls and guests in 2023, thanks to larger ship visits and expanded attractions.

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Port Saint John in New Brunswick, Canada, is not only celebrating 35 years of cruise ship calls in 2023, but is expecting a record-breaking number of ship calls and total guest visits during the six-month sailing season. The season’s schedule includes ships of all sizes from a variety of lines, as well as eight inaugural vessel calls.

Amazing Numbers for 2023

Port Saint John is expecting 86 ship calls from May 7 through November 7, 2023, and in that six-month season, will welcome nearly 200,000 visitors to the historically rich and naturally beautiful region.

Among the calls are 14 days where two ships will be in port simultaneously, as well as six days with three ships visiting. On eight nights, ships will remain in port for overnight visits to give guests even more time to explore.

Cruise Ships in Saint John
Photo Courtesy: Port Saint John

“We are thrilled to be releasing the 2023 cruise schedule today so that our community can prepare for the exciting season ahead,” said Natalie Allaby, Cruise Development Manager, Port Saint John.

That season begins with Hanseatic Inspiration of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises visiting on May 7, and will conclude with the season’s last call on November 7, a visit by Oceania Cruises’ Insignia.

The busiest days – when there are multiple ships in port as well as the longer overnight visits – occur late in the season in September and October, just when fall foliage is at its peak and guests will be treated to a riot of seasonal color.

Expanded Economic Opportunities

Just as cruise operations are continuing to expand at Port Saint John, so too are the economic opportunities tourism brings to the region. The cruise business brings more than $68 million to the region annually, including direct spending from guests and cruise lines as well as supporting additional jobs.

“The growth of the cruise ship industry in Saint John is a testament of what we offer as a region,” said Paulette Hicks, CEO, Envision Saint John. “The ability of our local businesses to seize the opportunities cruise visits bring speaks to the strength of the entrepreneurship in our community.”

Cruise Ships in Saint John
Photo Courtesy: Port Saint John

Some of those opportunities occur right at the cruise port in the Area 506 Waterfront Container Village. First opened in June 2022, more than 35 vendors share the space and bring food trucks, public art, pop-up shops, live music, boutique shopping, and more in an ever-changing venue.

“The container village transformed the port city welcome experience for visitors and residents alike last season,” said Natalie Allaby, Cruise Development Manager, Port Saint John. “Some past vendors experienced such success that they have set up permanent locations uptown.”

Beyond the port area, visitors to Port Saint John can explore a wealth of natural beauty, local history, amazing art, and much more.

“We are privileged to share our historic uptown, made up of unique boutiques, restaurants, galleries, and special landmarks,” said Nancy Tissington, Executive Director, Uptown Saint John. “As representatives of uptown Saint John, the Business Improvement Association is ready and proud to roll out the red carpet and show off to the cruise world each and every year.”

Cruising to Port Saint John

A wide range of cruise lines have visits planned to Port Saint John this year, giving travelers opportunities for sailings of different lengths and styles, as well as different levels of intimacy and service. Among the cruise lines scheduled for the port in 2023 are Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Saga Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, and more.

The largest ship to visit the port in 2023 will be Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas, one of the largest cruise ships in the world, which will be visiting the port for the second year in a row with a call on May 30, 2023.

The new Carnival Venezia, the Breakaway-Plus class Norwegian Escape, and MSC Cruises’ MSC Meraviglia are some of the other large vessels bringing more guests than ever to this Canadian gem of a port city.

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