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Prince Edward Island

Canadian Cruise Port Expects Record-Breaking Cruise Arrivals in 2023

Port Charlottetown will welcome a record number of ships, passengers and crew in 2023, according to a recent press release from the Charlottetown Port Authority.

With 91 ships, over 150,000 passengers and over 63,000 crew visiting the capital of Prince Edward Island, Port Charlottetown is poised for an outstanding 2023 season.

The largest number of passenger arrivals in port history

According to the press release, Port Charlottetown’s 2023 season will be significantly larger than last year, with a 40% increase in passenger arrivals compared to 2022’s 168,000 passengers and crew. The port expects to welcome more than 91 cruise ships and 150,000 cruise passengers over 63,000 crew members in 2023.

Charlottetown Harbor Authority CEO Mike Cochrane expressed his delight at the release of the 2023 cruise schedule and his excitement at working with tourism partners to prepare for the upcoming season.

Cruise ships in Charlottetown
Cruise Ships in Charlottetown (Photo Courtesy Port of Charlottetown)

“We are delighted to announce the 2023 cruise schedule and look forward to working with our amazing partners in tourism as we prepare for a banner season.” said Mike Cochrane, chief executive officer of the Charlottetown Port Authority.

“The recent addition of a second berth and our ongoing work to improve our facilities and waterfront reinforce Port Charlottetown as a premier cruise destination.”

During the two-year hiatus for cruise lines in Canada, Port Charlottetown undertook a $12 million expansion project that included the installation of a second berth. This expansion provides greater capacity, allowing multiple large ships to dock at the same time, and allows passengers to get ashore more safely and efficiently.

Port Charlottetown is a popular cruise port during the Cruise season in New England and Canada for its charming maritime heritage, well-preserved Victorian architecture, scenic coastline and proximity to natural attractions such as the red sandstone cliffs of Prince Edward Island National Park.

The port also offers easy access to local fish markets and historical sites, making it a popular stop for cruise ship passengers looking to experience the region’s rich culture and natural beauty.

Massive impact on the island’s economy

The cruise industry is expected to have a significant impact on Prince Edward Island’s economy as passenger numbers top 2019’s $42.2 million in revenue.

Minister for Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture Bloyce Thompson praised the economic benefits that cruise ships bring to the province and Prince Edward Island’s growing reputation as a premier cruise destination.

Port of Charlottetown
Charlottetown Harbor (Photo: Kevin Baillie/Shutterstock)

Minister for Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture Bloyce Thompson: “The electrifying energy and economic benefits that cruise ships bring to our province are unmatched. The island’s cruise industry had an economic impact of $42.2 million in 2019. With passenger numbers in 2023 surpassing 2019, the industry is expected to continue to make a significant contribution to the island’s economy.”

Port Charlottetown and its tourism partners are capitalizing on this growth with several initiatives, such as the development of digital kiosks and a digital walking map of Charlottetown, to enhance the visitor experience.

Most of the 91 ships scheduled to call at Port Charlottetown will do so in September and October, with 30 and 36 cruise ships calling, respectively.

Several major cruise lines will arrive this season, including the MSC Meraviglia, which can accommodate 4,500 passengers and 1,500 crew members. The 171,598 gross tonne cruise ship will call at Port Charlottetown three times in 2023 during her crossing from New York City. The 2023 cruise schedule is 15 days on two ships and six days on three ships.

Other ships that will visit the port this season are among others norwegian Pearl, jewel of the seasSeabourn Quest, Celebrity Summit, Silver Shadow, and Caribbean Princess. The cruise season ends with a call from insignia, an Oceania Cruises cruise shipon November 4, 2023.

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