Baddeck gets big tourism boost from small cruise ship
'We're really happy to see them,' says Bean There Cafe owner
A few hundred late-season tourists descended on Baddeck, N.S., Monday when the Norweigan expedition cruise ship MS Fram dropped anchor.
At 114 metres, the ship is the smallest of the cruise ships visiting Cape Breton this year, but it looks huge next to the sailboats and buildings at the government wharf on Baddeck Bay.
"It's a great ship," said Dan Skolnik, a visitor from Florida. "It gets into the smaller ports, which shows you the smaller towns, which basically is more about the people, and that's why I'm here, to meet people."
MS Fram is part of the Hurtigruten fleet of 15 cruise ships, which mostly sail in the Arctic, Antarctica, Norway, Greenland and Iceland.
This cruise started in St. John's with approximately 300 passengers, mostly from the U.S., although some are from Canada, including Rosalee Buchanan of Toronto.
"We're from a very bustling, busy city and it is such a refreshing thing to get away from that," she said.
Buchanan and other passengers wearing bright red jackets issued by the cruise line could be seen in the local coffee shops and clothing stores.
"It's great," said Rosalee Pino, owner of The Outdoor Store. "They come in, maybe they're cold, buy a jacket, toques or mitts."
"We're really happy to have them," said Susan Matheson, owner of Bean There Cafe. "Our season is winding down now, so any extra traffic through the village is welcomed for sure."
The next stop for MS Fram is Louisbourg, N.S., on Tuesday. It will also stop in Halifax and Yarmouth, N.S., before its final destination of New York.