Mayor Dennis O’Keefe, Chairman of Cruise St. John’s, is pleased to announce that the 2011 cruise season will get underway this week with the visit of the MV Silver Whisper of Silversea Cruises. The Silver Whisper is the first of 16 cruise ships scheduled to visit St. John’s this season and will visit port on Monday, May 23 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Silver Whisper is on a transatlantic New York City to Southampton itinerary which began in New York on May 17 and includes visits to Newport, Halifax, Sydney, St. John’s, Cork, Waterford, and

Fowey before finishing in Southampton, U.K. on May 31. The vessel has a total capacity of 382 passengers and 295 crew. The Silver Whisper first visited St. John’s in 2001 and has made frequent port calls since this time with her most recent visit in September 2010. The Silver Whisper is scheduled to return to St. John’s again on Sept. 15, 2011 and Sept. 26, 2012.

“Numbers of cruise visitors continue to grow each year and 2011 promises to be another great season as Cruise St. John’s hosts almost 19,000 visitors expected to arrive by cruise ship.” said Mayor O’Keefe. "Vessels including the Ocean Princess, Maasdam, Eurodam, AIDAluna, Jewel of the Seas, Silver Whisper, Polar Star, Clipper Adventurer and Aurora will return to St. John’s again this year while P&O Cruise’s Arcadia will make an inaugural visit in September.”

The season will conclude Oct. 9 with the Clipper Adventurer’s visit upon completion of a Newfoundland Circumnavigation cruise program in St. John’s.