With the arrival in Halifax of Phoenix Reisen vessel Amadea, the 2015 cruise season is officially underway in Atlantic Canada.

The Atlantic Canada Cruise Association (ACCA) is forecasting approximately 601,000 passengers will visit Atlantic Canada in 2015, up from 537,351 in 2014. “The cruise sector is strong in Atlantic Canada,” said Nora Fever, Chair of ACCA. “Our ports remain very attractive to passengers and cruise lines alike. The region is known for delivering world-class experiences and we’re thrilled to be able to introduce so many people to what Atlantic Canada has to offer.” ACCA estimates that direct spending by passengers and crew will be approximately $40 million in 2015.

A number of smaller niche ports in Atlantic Canada will have lines visit this season. Pictou, N.S. will host Pearl Seas Cruises ten times throughout the season, while St. Andrews by-the-Sea will welcome Blount Small Ship Adventures four times. “We are pleased to see not only the major cruise lines, but also a number of new, smaller lines visiting many of our niche ports this coming year,” said Fever. “The success of our smaller ports is important both for these communities and for the region as a whole, as it allows us to attract lines looking for new destinations. The partnership between ports small and large in Atlantic Canada makes this possible.”

ACCA actively promotes Atlantic Canada as a premiere spring, summer and fall cruise destination. ACCA is a partnership between ports, tourism and cruise ship interests in each of the four Atlantic Provinces, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and Parks Canada.