Charlottetown cruise ship season starts today

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Sixty-four cruise ships will be visiting Charlottetown during the 2014 season. Approximately 133,370 passengers and crew will be onboard the big ships. Guardian file photo

Charlottetown is ushering in a lengthy cruise ship season this week.

Holland America’s Veendam will be the first ship to arrive today. Ships will continue to call on the capital city until early November with 68 ship calls bringing just over 93,000 passengers and 42,000 crew.

Historically, the May long weekend has been the time that local businesses and retailers gear up for the tourism season, but with the consistent calls of visiting cruise ships, the tourist season is starting earlier. Holland America, a longtime visitor to the Island, continues to call on Charlottetown regularly, beginning early in May.

“We’ve seen the cruise industry continue to grow here on Prince Edward Island over the past number of years, and this is a wonderful opportunity to expand operations for the local tour operators, and retailers,” Stan MacPherson, chair of the Board at the Charlottetown Harbour Authority, said in a release.

Royal Caribbean has offered a relatively new itinerary, which will call on Charlottetown into November, wrapping up the cruise season on Nov. 6.

“Cruise ships has become a very important part of the tourism industry on Prince Edward Island,” said Minister of Tourism and Culture Robert Henderson.

“Not only do the passengers on these ships help support local businesses when they arrive, but they are also exposed to everything the Island offers a vacation destination, which helps plant the seeds for future visitation.”

There will be four inaugural visits, including the Pearl Mist with Pearl Sea Cruises, the Ruby Princess with Princess Cruise Lines, the Europa with Hapag-Lloyd, and the Legend of the Seas with Royal Caribbean.

Another new addition to this year’s schedule is two overnight stays by Pearl Sea Cruises, with the Pearl Mist.

“This is a great opportunity for the Island to showcase all of the great activities that typically take place later in the day and into the evening,” said Corryn Morrissey, manager of marketing and communications with the Charlottetown Harbour Authority.

Organizations: Charlottetown Harbour Authority, Princess Cruise Lines, Hapag-Lloyd

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Europa

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