Halifax welcomes season's first cruise ship
The first cruise ship of the season called on the Port of Halifax on Saturday morning.
The arrival of the Princess Danae, a cruise liner registered in Portugal, was a few weeks ahead of the usual late April/early May start to the cruise ship season.
The strong Canadian dollar is expected to impact tourism this summer.
Michele Peveril with the port said that while officials are projecting a strong year, passenger traffic is expected to be down slightly — by about five per cent.
"It's something that, you know, consumer demand, the U.S. economy — the dollar can impact, so it's going to be a very strong year in the region, but those factors that can impact consumer demand are always something that we watch closely in the industry," Peveril said.
Angela Malec, who heads marketing for Halifax waterfront tour operator Murphy's The Cable Wharf, is also predicting a slight decrease in tourist traffic.
Her company will be reaching out to convention groups and cruise ship passengers by trying to offer a true Maritime experience, Malec said.
In all, 126 cruise ships are expected in the port this season, with an estimated 240,000 passengers bringing about $50 million to the local economy.