Corner Brook Port Corporation is celebrating a record year for cruise visitation. With 26,811 passengers 12,488 crew visiting in 2012, the port surpassed its own previous best season, posted in 2007, by 30%. The record-breaking season also represents the most cruise passengers and crew to visit a single port in Newfoundland and Labrador in one season.

There were fifteen cruise calls scheduled at Corner Brook Port in 2012. While a call from Saga’s Quest for Adventure booked for September 11 was cancelled due to Tropical Storm Leslie, Corner Brook picked up an unscheduled call from the Emerald Princess. The vessel altered its 12 day Quebec City to Fort Lauderdale itinerary as a result of Hurricane Sandy, adding a stop in Corner Brook on October 30.

“We are extremely pleased with this year’s cruise season,” said Jackie Chow, CEO. “We have worked very hard since divestiture to promote Corner Brook as a cruise destination. As the cruise line planning cycle is two to three years, it often takes a number of years to see the results of our marketing activities. It is gratifying to have bookings for repeat calls and multiple ships from the same line, as well as bookings from lines that have not visited our port for a number of years; these bookings are evidence that our marketing has been successful.”

Most of the ships calling Corner Brook are on a Canada/New England itinerary from New York or Boston, turning around in Quebec City, or vice versa. Because of Corner Brook’s geographic location, ships travelling on a 10 day Canada/New England voyage are ideally suited to visit the city.

The Corner Brook Port Corporation participated in an economic impact study this season, the results of which will be compiled over the next several months. Based on the previous economic impact study, which was completed in 2007, the value of passenger and crew spending alone is estimated to be $2 Million. Once completed, the 2012 study will provide further details regarding the indirect and direct economic impact of the cruise industry to the region, which is expected to be approximately $4 Million.

“Part of our mandate as a community based organization is to pursue business opportunities which have a regional economic benefit. The cruise business creates wide ranging economic spin-offs for the entire region,” said Chow. “Cruise visitors, both passengers and crew, positively impact the retail sector, restaurants, transportation providers, tour operators, taxi companies, and others. We are pleased with the response from the region and look forward to building on this year’s initiatives to maximize the impact of future calls and ensure the cruise lines and their passengers continue to frequent this port.”

Ships typically visit Corner Brook in the fall, which is also advantageous for many tourism operators who are very busy during the peak summer season. Cruise visitation in the fall helps to extend the tourism season and generate additional revenue.