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Nova Scotia cruise ports continuing strong growth in 2024


The 2024 tourist season is set to be another landmark year for cruise ship visits in Nova Scotia. The cruise season is scheduled to kick off on April 6 in Halifax with the arrival of MSC Poesia, and will run until November 3 when the Insignia, an Oceania Cruises vessel will close out the season. This is the longest cruise season to date, with an expected increase in the number of vessel calls and passengers for both Halifax and Sydney.

The 2024 season will bring a record 115 cruise calls to the Port of Sydney beginning April 7 when the MSC Poesia comes from Halifax. Building on momentum and growth in previous years, seven ships will make inaugural visits to the Port of Sydney, and there is an expected 17% increase in the number of calls during the summer months compared to 2023.

“We are very excited about the upcoming season and proud of the continued growth and economic investment the cruise industry brings to the region,” said Lorna Campbell, CEO, Port of Sydney. “Cape Breton is an incredibly beautiful island destination and our reputation among cruise passengers is what continues to drive our success and ability to generate significant economic benefits for our communities.”

In Halifax, 2024 is expected to bring 203 cruise calls, and will see additional milestones including 11 vessels making inaugural visits, an increase in overnight visits and luxury ships, all demonstrating travelers’ continued interest in the province. Between the months of June, July and August, the Port of Halifax will see a 35.7% increase in the number of calls compared to last summer.

“We are very focused on the sustainable development of our cruise industry,” said Captain Allan Gray, President and CEO, Halifax Port Authority. “The 2024 season will run longer and see ship visits spread out across eight months. This is good news for our port, local businesses, and our provincial tourism industry. We know Nova Scotia is a top-tier travel destination, and we look forward to sharing that with the visits to our shores this year.”

The Port of Halifax will also be implementing cruise tendering operations allowing vessels to moor north of Georges Island and bring their passengers ashore by boat, on days when there are multiple ships in port. New shoreside infrastructure is being developed at Pier 24 to receive tendering vessels.

(Photos from Port of Halifax and Sydney)