After two years without any cruise ships visiting the city, Saint John in New Brunswick announced that cruises would be returning to its shores at the start of May 2022. The draft schedule shows a slow start for the summer months, with the traditional busy cruise season starting during the fall.
Saint John expects to welcome 69 cruise ships from 13 different cruise lines. Guests will be able to visit the historic city center, view the highest tides in the world, and see the Fundy Cruise Market, where local artisans showcase their wares.
Cruise ships to Return From May 4
The first cruise ships to return to Saint John will be those of small river cruise operator PearlSeas Cruises. Only on June 8 will the first large cruise ship sail into the port. Royal Caribbean’s first Oasis-class cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas, will be calling in Saint John as part of a 5-day cruise from Cape Liberty, New Jersey.
“We are encouraged and pleased to share with our community that our cruise sector is scheduled to return in 2022. For the past two years, our team at Port Saint John and our industry stakeholders have been working closely with federal and provincial authorities on how cruise will resume safely in Canadian port cities, and now it is time to put those plans into action,” said Craig Bell Estabrooks, CEO, Port Saint John.
Only two calls are scheduled for June and only one for July. However, the cruise calls will be increasing more and more during the second half of 2022. There will be four cruise ship calls in August, and from September, there will be cruise ships sailing to Saint John almost daily.
“September and October are the traditional busy months for cruise activity in our region, and 2022 is no exception, with 85% of the ships scheduled to visit after the Labour Day weekend. Ten vessels will call between early May and late August. During the Fall period there are ten days with double ships and five days with triple ships.”
The increase during the fall months has to do with the popular fall cruises along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States and the Canadian east coast. Now the cruise ban in Canada has been lifted, these cruises can finally occur again.
Cruising Returns to Canada
Before the pandemic, the annual economic impact to New Brunswick from cruise activity, which includes berthing, provisioning, guest spending, and more, was $68 million per year and provided 398 year-round full and part-time jobs in the province.
In its entirety, the cruise industry in Canada represents more than $4 billion in annual input directly and indirectly. It generates approximately 30,000 jobs and is an essential factor for tourism.
The cruise ban meant that no ships could visit Canadian ports during 2020 and 2021. The ban ended on November 1, 2021, which was too late for any meaningful cruises to take place.
Craig Bell Estabrooks: “As we emerge from the pandemic, we are seeing the careful and steady resumption of global travel and tourism, including cruise tourism. The cruise industry has developed some of the most stringent safety and operational protocols, which have been successfully demonstrated since global cruise resumption began in July 2020.”
Cruise lines that have cruises scheduled to Saint John include Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas, and more. The last cruise ship scheduled for this year is Norwegian Breakaway on November 3, 2022.