The first of the cruise visits will be the Pearl Mist, a 335-foot vessel slated to visit Shelburne Harbour on July 3 as part of an 11-night Atlantic coastal tour
By Greg Bennett
On Thursday, July 3 the first of two cruise ships confirmed to visit Shelburne this summer will arrive in the harbour and town officials are imploring local businesses and community members to be good hosts
The first cruise ship will be a familiar sight to many in the area. The Pearl Mist languished in the harbour during a prolonged legal battle between Irving Shipbuilding and the cruise line. According to Shelburne officials, that during the legal dispute, the cruise ship company liked what they saw of the seaside town and decided to include it in their itinerary.
The ship returns to the area on a much happier note.
With a capacity for 210 passengers, the cruise ship will be arriving at the Government Wharf in Shelburne from 8 am to 6 p.m. The local stop will be the first Canadian visit as part of an 11-night Atlantic coastal tour.
Town officials are hoping that tourist-related businesses, entertainment venues, retail, and restaurants will open their business for longer hours to help accommodate the passenger arrival from 8 a.m. to 6:00 pm. The Town of Shelburne will be providing shuttle bus service to make it easy for the passengers to navigate their way to and from the wharf. Passengers will meet the Mayor, greeters and have access to a mobile visitor information center as well.
Eyra Abraham, Shelburne Tourism and Events Coordinator, says the cruise industry will be a new learning opportunity for many that at the same time, presents a great economic advantage.
“We have only one chance to impress passengers and potentially turn them into returning guests,” she said. “Based on our experience on July 3, we will be more prepared to deal with the next cruise ship, Balmoral, a 1300 passenger cruise ship arriving Sept. 17 in the early hours and departing in the late hours. And of course many more to come.”
The 715-foot Balmoral had planned to port in Shelburne in 2012 but poor weather conditions saw it cancel its visit.
Now that Shelburne is part of the Atlantic Cruise Association, town officials hope Shelburne will continue to grow as a port destination.
“We are so fortunate to have two cruise ships arriving this summer, while many ports have tried for many years with no success,” said Abraham. “The cruise ship industry is highly motivated by passenger reviews and these reviews are shared among other cruise lines. Reviews from passengers are taken right after the ship has left the port. We want to, at the very least, leave a lasting positive experience for the passengers.”