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Port of Halifax to welcome 2 millionth cruise passenger in 2009

New website will showcase the Halifax experience

Halifax, NS - March 11, 2009 - The Port of Halifax will mark a milestone this cruise season when it welcomes the 2 millionth visitor since the first season back in 1980.

“Tourism operators and the local community can be proud that they have made Halifax, and Atlantic Canada, an appealing destination for cruise passengers that now call here in Spring, Summer and Fall,” said Cathy McGrail, Manager of Cruise Development, Halifax Port Authority. “Between 1980 and 2004, Halifax welcomed 1 million cruise passengers. In just the past 5 years, Halifax has attracted another 1 million passengers. Being able to mark the 2 millionth passenger this summer is an exciting milestone for Halifax.”

The 2009 season kicks off on May 15th and 124 vessels carrying more than 220,000-230,000 passengers are expected by the time the last ship calls Halifax on November 5th.

Details of the 2009 schedule are available as part of the launch of a new website aimed at improving the visitor experience to the Halifax area. The site (www.cruisehalifax.ca) will allow cruise visitors to plan their visit and give a sense of the experiences Halifax has to offer.

“Cruise has emerged as somewhat of a sleeping giant and is serving to bolster revenues for, not only, the tourism sector but the community at large,” said Patricia Lyall, President and CEO, Destination Halifax. “As a port of call destination, we have the unique and enviable opportunity to make an impression on this captured audience, thus influencing the potential for repeat visit.”

Highlights of the 2009 cruise season include:

  • Six new vessels and two new cruise lines will call in 2009.
  • The arrival of the first two vessels, the Maasdam and the Seven Seas Voyager, on May 15th.
  • The second largest ship ever built by the Cunard Line, the Queen Victoria, will make its inaugural visit to Halifax.
  • Record single-day in October, when it is expected that Halifax will welcome more than 10,000 cruise passengers in port on one day.

"Cruise lines are demonstrating confidence in our region and in Halifax with their 2009 bookings. We have heard from cruise lines that 2009 will be a challenging year for worldwide travel. Global recessions are impacting consumer demand and we will continue to work with the cruise lines and local tourism industry to maintain and build our cruise business,” said Cathy McGrail.

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Contact: Michele Peveril
Manager, Corporate Communications & Public Affairs
Halifax Port Authority
Phone: 426-1060
Email: mpeveril@portofhalifax.ca


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