Record-breaking cruise season for Atlantic Canada Cruise Association

Sarah Rumley speaks with Alex Smith about the region’s unique appeal and irresistible charm 

Record-breaking cruise season for Atlantic Canada Cruise Association
Atlantic Canada has received more than one million cruise guests in the 2023 season

By Alex Smith |

Made up of the provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, the Atlantic Canada region is home to idyllic landscapes, rich cultures and traditions, and a range of charming ports. The region’s many attractions combine to create a destination like no other, claims Sarah Rumley, executive director of the Atlantic Canada Cruise Association. 

“With its stunning coastline, picturesque towns and friendly locals, Atlantic Canada offers outstanding and memorable experiences for visitors,” says Rumley. “Each port has something special to offer, from New Brunswick’s magnificent Bay of Fundy to Newfoundland and Labrador’s breathtaking scenery, Prince Edward Island’s vibrant culinary scene and Nova Scotia’s rich culture and historic sites. It’s no wonder more and more people are choosing to embark upon an unforgettable journey to our region.” 

Cruise brands are increasingly drawn to the attractions of Atlantic Canada, offering more itineraries to the region than ever before. The 2023 season began on 21 April with the arrival of Viking Octantis in the small port of Lunenburg in Nova Scotia and 600 vessel calls have brought more than one million guests to Atlantic Canada by the end of the year. This included 11 ships that made their first visits to the region. It’s a welcome resurgence for the industry, which contributed $347 million to Atlantic Canada’s economy and was responsible for over 2,000 jobs before the pandemic. 

Rumley puts Atlantic Canada’s remarkable success in 2023 down to a combination of collaboration and the inherent appeal of the region as a destination for cruising. 

“This achievement would not be possible without the collective efforts of ports, tourism operators, industry stakeholders and various levels of government,” she says. “The charm of our region as a cruise destination cannot be understated. The stunning landscapes, vibrant culture and warm hospitality are what set this region apart. But the commitment displayed by everyone involved is undoubtedly the driving force behind the allure that makes Atlantic Canada stand out.”   

This article was first published in the 2024 issue of Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. Subscribe to Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning for FREE to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox. 

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