Viking Octantis arrived at Port of Charlottetown on 22 April 2022
Viking Octantis called at Port of Charlottetown, in Prince Edward Island, Canada, on 22 April 2022, making it the first cruise ship to visit an Atlantic Canadian port in over two years.
Viking Octantis, one of Viking Cruises’ new expedition ships, was initially planned to call at Louisbourg in Nova Scotia on 21 April but this was cancelled due to weather conditions.
“Atlantic Canada’s port communities are thrilled to safely welcome back cruise ships,” said Mike Cochrane, chair of the Atlantic Canada Cruise Association (ACCA) and CEO of the Port of Charlottetown. “These ships bring thousands of visitors to our region each year and represent a key pillar in our tourism sector. Cruise lines have been at the forefront of travel safety measures related to protecting passengers and the public from Covid-19, and our ports will be following all provincial, Public Health Agency of Canada and Transport Canada safety guidelines.”
Before the pandemic, cruise ships contributed $347 million to Atlantic Canada’s economy and were responsible for more than 2,000 jobs. The return of cruise ships to Atlantic Canada marks the beginning of the region’s tourism recovery.
“It’s an exciting time for Prince Edward Island, and all of Atlantic Canada as we safely welcome back cruise ships after two long years,” said Matthew MacKay, minister of economic growth, tourism and culture at the Government of Prince Edward Island. “The energy cruise ships bring to our province is always electrifying. Passengers fill our streets who are ready to shop, dine, sightsee and enjoy all the entertainment and hospitality we have to offer. The cruise ship sector plays an important role in recovering our tourism industry and provincial economy, and we are delighted for the return.”
ACCA is implementing a three-year marketing and recovery plan, with support from the Government of Canada, which has given C$660,400 to the association. The project will help to rebuild Atlantic Canada’s cruise brand, promoting it internationally while restoring relationships within the industry.
“We have long viewed tourism as a key economic driver,” said Ginette Petitpas Taylor, minister of official languages, who is responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. “We continue to ensure tourism businesses and organisations are resourced and ready to start back up as the economy re-opens. I’m excited for people from around the world to come back and discover anew the special attractions Atlantic Canada has to offer.”
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