For the third year in a row, the Port of Saint John recognized its tourism partners in an end-of-the-year (2015) awards ceremony, giving out prizes to the top tour guides.
“The guides are the ones delivering the product day after day, they are so important,” said Betty MacMillan, manager of cruise development.
The port’s traffic is on the up and recovering, with an expected 10 percent rise in 2016 after 119,172 passengers in 2015.
Royal Caribbean is the port’s number one customer in 2016, with ships sailing out of New Jersey and Baltimore.
While the season remains focused on September and October, the summer is seeing a few more calls in 2016, a trend MacMillan hopes will continue.
“My goal for 2017 is 150,000 passengers,” said MacMillan. “As long as it’s going up we are happy.”
A four-year dredging project for the port starts this year, which will benefit cruise lines as the main channel will be dredged down to 10 meters.
The city is working on new products in the uptown area, giving passengers more to do, according to MacMillan.
“Our tour operators are constantly working on not just putting a bow on the old products but working on brand new products,” she said. “We’ll have some announcements coming out on that in the next three to four months.”
Saint John is another port taking connectivity very seriously.
“We have really upgraded our WiFi in the terminals,” said MacMillan. “We find our passengers and crew need WiFi and expect it. The last thing we want is someone to be frustrated.”