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Two big cruise lines cancel Atlantic Canada port calls for rest of 2020

FILE PHOTO: Peggy's Cove lighthouse is a favorite day-trip for cruise visitors to Halifax.

PortandTerminal.com, May 9, 2020

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA – Holland America, Princess cruise lines announced this week they are cancelling trips in Atlantic Canada for the rest of the year.

Canadian ports are closed to cruise ships until the end of June. Holland America and Princess Cruises issued notices this week saying they are extending the pause on trips for the rest of the year, citing global health concerns.

“At the start of the season we were looking at over 200 vessel calls, which is about 350,000 cruise guests,” said Lane Farguson, a spokesman for Halifax Port Authority. “That would have been our busiest year ever here in Halifax.” With restrictions in place that number has been reduced to nearly half.

The Port of Sydney in Nova Scotia was preparing for a big season as well, with nearly 120 cruise ships scheduled. “It was supposed to be a record year again, and now it’s probably going to be one of our worst in terms of finances,” says Sydney Port CEO Marlene Usher. For now, the port of Sydney has laid of their staff — with a $60 million dollar hit to the economy.

In Saint John, New Brunswick more than 90 vessels were scheduled to dock, that number has been reduced to 53 and is subject to change.

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island will not see its first cruise ship visit until at least Sept. 1.

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