Charlottetown saw a big bump in passenger arrivals from 2018 to 2019 and is set for another jump in 2020.
The Prince Edward Island port welcomed 98,000 cruise passengers in 2018, saw roughly 120,000 in 2019, and projects a record-smashing 168,000 in 2020, said Corryn Clemence, cruise development manager at the Charlottetown Harbour Authority and Port Charlottetown. This in a town of about 36,100 full time residents.
Clemence pointed to growth from old partners and the attraction of new ones.
“We have seen consistent growth via ship calls, from all of our visiting lines, including but not limited to Holland America, Princess, and Norwegian,” she said. “We’ve seen new lines and new ships entering our region, both smaller luxury lines – like Scenic Cruises with the Scenic Eclipse – and also large lines with much larger vessels, like the MSC Meraviglia.”
It’s more than fall foliage sailings as well.
“We have seen steady growth into our spring and summer season, which is something we are very pleased with as we see big potential to grow even further,” Clemence said. “We know we have a great summer product that will resonate with multi-generational families traveling.”
The port also has potential for attracting the younger, more active visitor as well as the family market.
“Our fall season has traditionally been an older demographic and we’ve seen great growth during this time as well, to include more variety in our shore excursion offerings, which also appeal to a younger and more active passenger,” she said.
When reached by Cruise Industry News in late 2019, the port was completing its second berth expansion project.
“We anticipate this will be completed in the spring of 2020 and once finished, we will be able to accommodate two 300-meter-long vessels simultaneously, which will increase the efficiencies of port operations and movement of passengers.”
Across the street from the port, a new multi-use restaurant, beer hall and shopping center opened in 2019. The Founders’ Food Hall & Market features local products and experiences.