Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning 2024

85 ASSOCIATION HIGHLIGHTS: INTERVIEW Irresistible charm Sarah Rumley of the Atlantic Canada Cruise Association speaks with Alex Smith about why Atlantic Canada’s unique appeal has led to a record-breaking season in 2023 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 are expected to bring more than one million guests to Atlantic Canada by the end of the year. This will include 11 ships that will be making 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.” Atlantic Canada is set to receive more than one million cruise guests in the 2023 season