Nova Scotia Cruise Ports Continue Strong Growth in 2024
February 13, 2024, Halifax, Nova Scotia – 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, an MSC Cruises vessel 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.
2024 cruise season highlights for The Port of Halifax:
- 203 vessel calls
- 11 inaugural calls
- Three ship days – 20
- Four ship days – 4
- Five ship day – 1
- Two visits from the Cunard Line Queen Mary 2, including an overnight on Canada Day and September 25
Please note that information formerly on cruisehalifax.ca can now be found at portofhalifax.ca/cruise, including information for passengers and cruise lines. A live schedule of ships coming into the Port of Halifax can be found on PortControl.
2024 cruise season highlights for The Port of Sydney:
- 115 vessel calls
- 7 inaugural calls
- Two ship days – 24
- Three ship days – 5
- Four ship days – 1
A full schedule for Sydney can be found on the Port of Sydney website at sydneyport.ca.
About the Port of Sydney:
The Port of Sydney is the ocean gateway to scenic Cape Breton Island. With its gracious and proud people, rich Gaelic heritage, and sweeping landscapes, a visit to the Port of Sydney on Cape Breton Island creates a spiritual awakening that is sure to captivate you and keep you longing to return.
About the Port of Halifax
The Halifax Port Authority is committed to ensuring port operations consider the needs of the community, local habitat, and short-term and long-term well-being. Sustainability is built into every facet of the Port and how we operate. We meet the needs of today’s shipping, cargo, and cruise operations, while building for the future, focusing on the three key pillars of community, economics, and environment.
Halifax Port Authority
Ph. (902) 209-4504