FIRST CRUISE SHIP TO ARRIVE IN ATLANTIC CANADA IN TWO YEARS TO VISIT CHARLOTTETOWN ON APRIL 22
CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI—A key milestone for Atlantic Canada’s tourism sector will be reached on April 22 as the Viking Octantis becomes the first cruise ship to visit an Atlantic Canadian port in over two years when it docks at the Port of Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island. The ship’s planned initial call to Louisbourg, Nova Scotia on April 21 was cancelled due to inclement weather. Like many travel and tourism sectors, cruise ships were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic, cruise ships contributed $347 million to Atlantic Canada’s economy and were responsible for more than 2,000 jobs.
“Atlantic Canada’s port communities are thrilled to safely welcome back cruise ships. These ships bring thousands of visitors to our region each year and represent a key pillar in our tourism sector,” said Mike Cochrane, Chair of the Atlantic Canada Cruise Association and CEO of the Port of Charlottetown. “Cruise lines have been at the forefront of travel safety measures related to protecting passengers and the public from COVID-19, and our ports will be following all provincial, Public Health Agency of Canada and Transport Canada safety guidelines.”
The Viking Octantis, launched earlier this year, is a specialized expedition ship that hosts 378 guests.
“It’s an exciting time for Prince Edward Island, and all of Atlantic Canada as we safely welcome back cruise ships after two long years,” said Minister of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture Matthew MacKay. “The energy cruise ships bring to our province is always electrifying. Passengers fill our streets who are ready to shop, dine, sightsee and enjoy all the entertainment and hospitality we have to offer. The cruise ship sector plays an important role in recovering our tourism industry and provincial economy, and we are delighted for the return.”
The Government of Canada is providing a non-repayable contribution of $660,400 through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). The investment will help the Atlantic Canada Cruise Association (ACCA) to implement a three-year marketing and recovery plan. The project will help to rebuild Atlantic Canada’s cruise brand, promoting it internationally while restoring relationships and cruise capacity within the industry.
“We have long viewed tourism as a key economic driver,” said the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA. “We continue to ensure tourism businesses and organizations are resourced and ready to start back up as the economy re-opens. I’m excited for people from around the world to come back and discover anew the special attractions Atlantic Canada has to offer.”
About Atlantic Canada Cruise Association
The Atlantic Canada Cruise Association, operating as Cruise Atlantic Canada, is a regional partnership between ports, tourism and cruise ship interests as well as the four provincial governments and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. We work to promote the sustainable growth of Atlantic Canada as a cruise destination through strategic leadership, collaboration, partnerships and innovative marketing. Find out more at cruiseatlanticcanada.com.
Viking was founded in 1997 and provides destination-focused journeys on rivers, oceans and lakes around the world. Designed for experienced travelers with interests in science, history, culture and cuisine, Chairman Torstein Hagen often says Viking offers guests The Thinking Person’s Cruise® in contrast to mainstream cruises. With more than 250 awards to its name, Viking has been rated the #1 River Cruise Line and #1 Ocean Cruise Line by Condé Nast Traveler in the publication’s 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards. Viking has also been consistently rated the #1 ocean cruise line and one of the best river cruise lines in Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best” Awards. For additional information, contact Viking at 1-800-2-VIKING (1-800-284-5464) or visit www.viking.com. For Viking’s award-winning enrichment channel, visit www.viking.tv.
Atlantic Canada Cruise Association
Senior Communications Officer
Department of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency