The last cruise ship of the season for Newfoundland and Labrador is in Corner Brook today with no more ships expected in the province until well into 2024.
Ross Klein, a MUN professor who has written extensively on the cruise industry, sees a bright future for the industry in Corner Brook, but says St. John’s has some work to do.
Klein says they spoke with passengers from every ship which arrived in St. John’s this year and found that people spend about $35-$40 when in port, not the $100 as claimed by the industry.
As well, Klein says the city had thousands fewer passengers browsing the shops and going on tours than it had banked on.
He says the city is at the mercy of the cruise industry, and that there were 11,000 fewer passengers than the city had gotten excited about. “I won’t say it’s a negative but they have a lot of work to do.”
The 2023 cruise season saw 33 ship arrivals and 28,421 passengers according to statistics provided by St. John’s City Council.
While weather caused some delays or cancellations, it also meant additional ships arriving in port including three ships that extended their stay due to weather.
The 2024 cruise season has 37 ships scheduled with the first one arriving April 23. A record number of 67,000 passengers are expected which can be contributed to larger ships arriving in port including 17 with over 2,000 passengers.