When the Queen Mary 2 sailed out of the harbour last week, another record cruise season came to an end in Saint John. The 186,500 passengers that visited the city on 73 ships, eclipsed last year’s record of approximately 180,000 passengers.
"We are very pleased with yet another record year in cruise," said Al Soppitt, President and CEO for the Saint John Port Authority. "We are excited about the future prospects and growth potential of this sector, which will continue to make a significant contribution to the province's annual tourism results."
The cruise season began on a high note with the grand opening of the Marco Polo Cruise Terminal, officiated by Mr. Alan Buckelew, CEO and President of Princess Cruises. In his address he noted “Cruise ships first started calling in Saint John 20 years ago this year, so it’s still a relatively young industry here. But this port has been in the forefront of attracting new business to the region, and I congratulate your achievements, which could serve as a model for other ports around the world.”
“This was an especially rewarding cruise season for the Port of Saint John,” commented Betty MacMillan, Manager of Business Development for the Saint John Port Authority. “In spite of the worldwide economic downturn, our numbers continue to grow in this very important sector. It was also a great honour to have our city named as one of the top three ports of call in the world at the Seatrade Insider's Cruise Awards.”
Other highlights this season included:
- An inaugural visit from Cunard Cruise Line’s Queen Victoria
- An inaugural call from Fred Olsen Cruise Line’s Balmoral
- The naming of the Marco Polo Cruise terminal by local high school student, Laura Daigle
- A rare opportunity for the Port of Saint John to act as an embarkation point for a sailing of the QM2 from Saint John to New York City
The Port of Saint John is a commercially viable, self-sufficient business enterprise and a cornerstone of the local economy. It is a critical component of the region’s transportation infrastructure essential to many of New Brunswick’s major industries engaged in international trade and provides deep-water, ice-free access to shipping year round.