Charlottetown, PE – Port Charlottetown is marking the end of a busy 2023 cruise season and setting its sights on a record-breaking 2024 for PEI’s cruise industry. This year marked a welcome return to smooth sailing after three years of instability due to the global pandemic and Hurricane Fiona. In total, Port Charlottetown welcomed 89 ships and 119,488 passengers to the Island this year, marking one of the Island’s biggest seasons ever.
“We are delighted with the rapid growth of PEI’s cruise industry over the past decade and 2023 was no exception,” said Mike Cochrane, CEO of Port Charlottetown. “This year marked our largest ship count to date, with 89 calls to port and visitor numbers almost at par with pre-pandemic levels. We’re proud to play a role in the extension of PEI’s tourism season, with ships calling from the end of April until the beginning of November.”
The cruise industry continues to contribute significantly to the Island’s economy, while also positioning PEI as a must-visit tourism destination for cruisers.
“Tourism is one of the cornerstones of our province’s economy and the cruise industry is a vital component of that,” said the Honourable Cory Deagle, Minister of Fisheries, Tourism, Sport and Culture. “The direct economic impact of this year’s cruise visitation, which totalled 176,456 including crew, was approximately $18.2 M. This is proof the cruise sector has fully rebounded and is seeing amazing growth. We anticipate the 2024 season is an even bigger success.”
As Port Charlottetown closes the curtain on 2023, PEI’s busiest working port is preparing for a record-breaking 2024 season.
“We’re anticipating over 100 cruise ship arrivals to Port Charlottetown next year, which is unprecedented for PEI,” said Cochrane. “The continued growth of cruise visitation is a clear indication that the Island has established its reputation as a premier cruise destination. We are proud of the many initiatives we have spearheaded and collaborated on to ensure an exceptional guest experience and return visitation by our cruise partners.”
In 2023, the Port partnered with business associations and destination marketing organizations to showcase PEI’s cultural offerings, including live music on the waterfront, local shopping, live theatre and other attractions in the city. They also worked with local aquaculture associations to promote Canada’s Food Island to a national audience.
For more information about the Island’s cruise industry and to stay up-to-date on the 2024 cruise schedule, visit www.portcharlottetown.com. Want to be the first to receive updates/changes on upcoming cruise arrivals? Subscribe to the Port’s SMS text alerts!* Text the word “CRUISE” to (855)-912-1051