Port Charlottetown welcomed a record breaking 128,000 passengers and 55,000 crew in 2019, as well as its largest ship to date: the MSC Meraviglia, which called in October carrying 4,500 passengers.
The numbers represent a total direct economic impact of just under $21.7 million on Prince Edward Island; a 31.5 percent increase on 2018, the port has announced in a statement.
“While the bulk of the calls come in the fall months, we are very pleased to see increased calls throughout the summer as well,” said Mike Cochrane, CEO of Port Charlottetown.
Other ships like the Scenic Eclipse, the Zaandam, the Mein Schiff 1 and the Sapphire Princess also made their inaugural calls to Port Charlottetown this season.
“We are seeing larger vessels calling our port and region, but we are also seeing great growth in the smaller luxury lines, which speaks directly to the quality of product and tour offerings we have here on Prince Edward Island,” added Corryn Clemence, cruise development, communications and brand manager for the port.
She also said that the injection of money into the economy can be felt across the island, as many tours reach a number of rural communities and businesses.
“With a small province, we are able to offer passengers a half day tour to rural areas, leaving the remainder of their day to enjoy the beauty, history, dining and shopping that Charlottetown offers,” Clemence explained.
Port Charlottetown is currently working toward a $12 million berth expansion project that will allow for two 300-meter-long vessels to be berthed simultaneously.
The port is anticipating further growth in 2020 and is planning a schedule release early in the New Year.