Cruise ship cancellations 'disappointing' for local restaurants and businesses

Four cruise ship sailings were cancelled Tuesday due to a wind warning on P.E.I.

'The cruise ships are vital for us to keep going for September, October'

Just over 6,000 passengers were expected to dock Tuesday. Due to wind warnings, the sailing were cancelled. (Isabella Zavarise/CBC)

Four cruise ships set to dock Tuesday in Charlottetown were forced to cancel due to a wind warning.

The cancellations were a setback for businesses relying on tourism during the shoulder season. 

Nessya Neemron, the owner of Nessya's Gems and Jewels and another store near the Seaport, said the cancellations have a ripple effect.

"The loss is very big. It's to me personally, to the people that work with me, to my suppliers," she said.

"Next year, I might … order less product because I'm left over with more product than I expected. It's unfortunate, but it's always weather related, so there's not much we can do about it."

'Cruise ships are vital'

Neemron had to cut back on staff Tuesday due to the lack of tourists.

And Coady Campbell, manager of the Water Prince Corner Shop, said he did the same.

'It would have been a busy day. One ship is nice for us, having two ships, that’s even better but four ... fantastic,' says Coady Campbell, manager of the Water Prince Corner Shop. (Isabella Zavarise/CBC)

"It's definitely, as a restaurant, it's difficult. There is a shoulder season, there's still tourists, but the cruise ships are vital for us to keep going for September, October," he said. 

Earlier this month, four cruise ships docked and made for a busy, but welcome day for some taxi drivers.

"It was fantastic. It was just like Christmas," said Cora MacDonald, a driver for Yellow Cab PEI.

"I personally had two trips to Cavendish, a tour, a couple trips to the airport, plus other business off the ships. It was just go, go, go all day."

Many businesses and restaurants had to cut their staff on Tuesday due to the cancellations. (Isabella Zavarise/CBC)

MacDonald said she was looking forward to the sailings Tuesday morning.

"Especially this time of year in October. The taxi business just drops and we depend on the cruise ships," she said.

6,000 passengers expected

Corryn Clemence, Port Charlottetown's business development manager, said the port was expecting just over 6,000 passengers today.

"I refer to this as the grand finale of our tourism season with crews wrapping up later in the fall. And because of our numbers, a lot of our tourism operators across P.E.I. have the ability to stay open a little bit longer and extend that season," she said.

'I think it impacts us. Obviously, our numbers this season will be lower than we hoped they would be,' Clemence says. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

"To have a cancellation like today is disappointing."

Clemence said there are more cruise ships scheduled, but Tuesday was the last four-ship day of the season. 

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