Mayor Dennis O’Keefe, Chairman of Cruise St. John’s, has announceed that the first cruise ship visit of the season will take place Sunday, May 13, from 2 to 7 p.m., with an inaugural visit by the Crystal Serenity.

The Serenity will carry approximately 1,150 passengers and 655 crew on its 14-day transatlantic itinerary. The cruise began in New York City on May 8 and the ship will be making port calls in Newport, Boston, St. John’s, Reykjavik, Haimaey, Torshaven, Alesund, Hellesylt, and Bergen before the cruise concludes in Dover on May 24.

“I am really looking forward to seeing the streets of St. John’s filled with tourists when the Crystal Serenity arrives in our port,” said Mayor O’Keefe. “The economic benefits of having these large cruise ships come to St. John’s are undeniable and that is why we actively promote the City as a tourism destination and port of call for cruise ships.”

Looking ahead to the 2012 season projections have the port city seeing a large increase in the number of cruises and visitors. In total, 16 cruise ships are expected in St. John's in 2012, bringing with them over 25,000 passengers and crew, an increase of 67 per cent over 2011. 

A number of cruise ships will make inaugural port calls this season including the Crystal Serenity on May 13, Caribbean Princess on Sept. 5, Quest for Adventure on Sept. 6, Brilliance of the Seas on Sept. 18, Artania on Sept. 22 and Balmoral on Sept. 27.  Vessels scheduled to return to port include the Akademik Keldysh, Akdamik Ioffe, Maasdam, AIDAaura, Eudodam, AIDAluna, Jewel of the Seas, The World, Silver Whisper and Clipper Adventurer.

The cruise season will conclude on October 11 with the Clipper Adventurer’s Newfoundland Circumnavigation Cruise which finishes in St. John’s.