By Amy Woolvett
It could be the year of the cruise ship for Shelburne this fall and summer.
Four cruise ships have Shelburne on its itinerary this year, making this the most cruise ship visits ever in one year for the community.
The first of the cruise ship visits will be the Pearl Mist, a 335-foot vessel slated to visit Shelburne Harbour in early July as part of an 11-night Atlantic coastal tour.
While the town has been actively rejuvenating efforts to become a port of call for small cruise ships, it was the company, Pearl Seas Cruises that made the first move to include Shelburne as one of its excursions.
The cruise ship became a familiar sight in Shelburne as it was tied to the Irving Shipbuilding wharf for months.
According to Shelburne officials, the company liked what they saw of the seaside town and decided to include it in their itinerary.
The Balmoral will be making a stop in Shelburne on Sept. 17.
Last year, the 715-foot vessel was supposed to port in Shelburne but poor weather conditions left many local vendors disappointed as it cancelled its visit.
The Balmoral has a 1350 person capacity with 510 crew and has already sold out the tour for its cabin with balcony rooms.
The Yorktown Cruiseline is also porting in Shelburne for Sept. 6, Sept. 14 and Sept. 30.
Tony Mahaney, chair of the Shelburne Port committee says this is all good news for Shelburne.
“It provides some income for the port but in general there is the potential for each person visiting to spend $150 each day,” he says.
They have already alerted the Shelburne Chamber of Commerce in hopes local businesses will be prepared for the flurry of visits.
He says now that Shelburne is part of the Atlantic Cruise Association, he hopes Shelburne will continue to grow as a port destination.
“There are all sorts of things the local entrepreneur can do to make this a successful visit,” he says. “If there are reasonable things to attract (the visitors) other cruise lines will come once the word gets out.”