The Port of Halifax, Nova Scotia, is a frequent port call for ships operating spring and summer cruises, but the visits ramp up in August, as fall foliage sailings to New England and Atlantic Canada get into full swing and continue through the autumn season.
In Halifax, the cruise season begins in late April and continues into early November, and port officials say 2022 was a strong rebuilding year for the industry. A good year for the port also is a boon to local businesses that depend on cruise guests coming ashore to shop and sightsee.
Halifax Cruise Port Welcomed 234,000 passengers in 2022
The port this year had 148 ship calls and welcomed 234,000 cruise guests. Seventeen of the vessels were making inaugural visits to Halifax, including the Royal Caribbean’s mega-ship Oasis of the Seas, when it called at the port on June 8 during a 5-night cruise from New York. The oasis-class cruise ship carries 5,600 guests.
In a statement issued on Nov. 14, port officials noted that, besides revenues for the port, the cruise industry’s economic benefit includes passenger spending at local restaurants, galleries, museums and historical sites, and on cruise excursions to popular attractions like Peggy’s Cove, the picturesque fishing village known for its historic lighthouses.
“We would like to recognize the efforts of our partners, stakeholders, and their staff who have worked hard to rebuild the cruise industry here in Atlantic Canada,” Captain Allan Gray, President and CEO of the Halifax Port Authority, said in the statement.
“Navigating the return of tourism to the region would not have been possible without the dedication of tourism agencies, restaurant staff and owners, shopkeepers, and destination providers,” he said.
Looking Ahead to a Double-Digit Increase
According to the port statement, Halifax expects a 23 percent increase in ship visits in 2023, raising the number of vessel calls to 180. That would put 2023 on par with 2020, when 179 ships visited during the last season before the emergence of Covid brought the industry to a halt. In 2020, cruise guests arriving in Halifax numbered 323,709, as shown in the port’s stakeholder report for that year.
Notable cruise ships scheduled to call at Halifax next year include Norwegian Cruise Line’s new Norwegian Prima, which will bring its 3,950 passengers to the Nova Scotia port on May 16, and the Norwegian Escape, the 5,218-guest ship that will visit Aug. 29.
Other ships with Halifax port calls next year include Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas, Holland America Line’s Zaandam, Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Summit, Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Magic, Oceania’s Insignia and Cunard’s Queen Mary 2.