The first of more than a dozen cruise ships expected in port this summer sailed to St. John's Sunday, launching what the city's mayor hopes will be a turn of good fortune.

"We're talking about a value in the vicinity of about $3 million that will permeate the city's economy," said Mayor Dennis O'Keefe, who has made a strong pitch for St. John's in the transatlantic cruise ship industry.

The Crystal Serenity, with nearly 2,000 passengers, arrived in St. John's on Sunday.

St. John's is increasingly becoming a popular port of call for luxury liners travelling from the U.S. to Europe. O'Keefe said the passengers are looking for shopping, dining and tourism opportunities.

O'Keefe said the city expects to see 16 cruise ships during the season, together carrying about 25,000 passengers and crew.