The New Brunswick provincial government is welcoming the growth of the cruise ship industry in several locations, including Saint John and Saint Andrews.
New Brunswick Tourism and Parks Minister Trevor Holder said the industry is supporting the growth of tourism throughout the Fundy region.
"We are pleased that the Port of Saint John is seeing increased business and that Saint Andrews has been successful in seeking and landing niche cruise business," said Holder. "The Fundy region has a great deal to offer tourists. By building upon each other's success and offerings, we are growing the cruise business for the betterment of New Brunswick. Saint John created a new tourism awareness layer for the Saint Andrews market, and Saint Andrews will now be able to do the same for surrounding communities such Campobello Island, St. George and St. Stephen."
New Brunswick's growing cruise business is attracting a variety of ships. The Port of Saint John is increasing its berthing capacity to accommodate the world's largest ships. Saint Andrews will begin to welcome smaller ships in 2012.
"Cruise passengers who have visited Saint John have been excited for years now about experiencing the Bay of Fundy and all it has to offer," said Betty MacMillan, manager, cruise development, Saint John Port Authority. "We are delighted that Saint Andrews is now being recognized as the gem it is - it will be a great destination for the small luxury / adventure cruise ship market."
The cruise industry today looks very different than it did a few decades ago. There is increasing interest in large ships that hold several thousand passengers; there is also a growing number of smaller cruise ships that cater to passengers hoping for a more intimate experience and stops at destinations to which larger ships cannot reach.
"Our bookings to date are all the smaller vessels," said Vaughn McIntyre, of Vaughn McIntyre Consulting Ltd., of Saint Andrews. "I believe that our success in attracting these lines is based, in part, on the Port of Saint John's success to date. Saint John has helped to position New Brunswick as a destination. Saint Andrews is now being seen as another attractive New Brunswick destination for another segment of the cruise industry."
In speaking about Saint Andrews, Holder referred to ongoing progress regarding the Algonquin Hotel and Resort. The minister said interest in the property continues to grow, adding that he continues to be encouraged by the level of interest being expressed.
"The Algonquin Hotel and Resort is important to the economy of Saint Andrews and Charlotte County as well as to our tourism industry," he said. "The provincial government is committed to its continued operation. Things are progressing, and I can assure that it will be business as usual - in 2012 and beyond."