Nova Scotia

Sydney to become home port for polar cruise company

The owner of One Ocean Expeditions says he'll make the move once Sydney Harbour's second berth is finished.

One Ocean Expeditions has 2 ships and plans to expand its fleet

Andrew Prossin, managing director of One Ocean Expeditions, is a native of Westmount, Cape Breton. (Norma Jean MacPhee/CBC)

A Cape Breton-born expedition cruise operator plans to make Sydney his company's home port. 

"I see no reason why Sydney can't be the Arctic gateway this side of Canada," said Andrew Prossin, owner and managing director of One Ocean Expeditions.

Prossin said once Sydney Harbour's second berth is built, his company will use it for getting his ships ready for sea — a commitment that he said will bring millions of dollars with it. He has two ships that tour the Arctic and Antarctica, and has plans to expand his fleet.

Right now, Prossin preps his ships in various ports, including Halifax and St. John's. Preparation includes fuelling, getting food supplies and any other necessary gear. He said he spent $5 million to $6 million in Halifax last year on company-related business, and he'd like to move some of that expenditure to Sydney.

'Makes good business sense'

Having grown up in Westmount, Cape Breton, Prossin said he's excited to do something for the island, but said it's about more than that.

"It makes good business sense. I'm not just doing this out of my loyalty and patriotism," he said. "Now we finally have a great business case to do it as well."

Marlene Usher, the CEO of the Port of Sydney Development Corporation, said she's thrilled with Prossin's announcement.

An artist's rendering of the proposed second cruise ship berth in Sydney, N.S. (Port of Sydney Development Corporation)

"It was gratifying because we knew there were other business ideas and opportunities, but once you announce a project, then they really do start coming forward," said Usher.

Prossin is optimistic about the impact this could have on Sydney's economy. 

"We've seen it happen in towns in South America that we use for Antarctica that are around the same size as Sydney," he said. "And we've watched them develop over 20 years."

Usher said the second berth is slated to be finished by the fall of 2018.