Visit ends cruise season

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PICTOU — It may have been a dreary day for the last cruise ship visit of the season, but there are more to come.

Pictou Parks and Recreation co-ordinator Michelle Young said the Pearl Seas line that included the Pearl Mist that docked for the final time for the season last Wednesday has visits booked for next year and 2020.

“We’re looking forward to more cruise ship arrivals,” she said.

Passengers began disembarking the cruise ship at about 1 p.m. last Wednesday before choosing the options that included walkabouts on their own, guided walking tours and a bus trip to the Museum of Industry in Stellarton.

Numerous visitors took the opportunity to tour the Hector Heritage Quay and board the Ship Hector for a closer look.

Young praised the work done by Gary Nowlan and John Ashton in leading the guided tours through parts of Pictou and share vast amounts of information they have prepared for the visitors.

Nowlan is president of the Northumberland Fisheries Museum board, while Ashton is a well-known local historian.

“The walking tours are going very well,” Young said. “Gary and John focus on stories or our heritage. They do a very good job.”

Chuck and Jan Sparrer from Salt Lake City, Utah were among visitors who chose to walk about the downtown. They have been on cruises before but wanted this chance to see the fall colours where the Pearl Mist docked.

“We just thought it would be fun,” Jan said.

Young said visits to the annual cruise ship conferences offered at ports the cruise line visits shows how the industry is evolving.

“There is lots of information about what is happening with the cruise ship industry, especially small expedition type ships,” she said.

Nine expedition ships are expected to be launched next year, while 96 new cruise ships are to be built over the next 10 years.

Young shared a number of other trends in the cruise industry that include 30 per cent growth year by year in the region (Quebec to New York including Atlantic Canada), while the region could more than double its annual average passengers numbers.

Gary Nowlan, left, leads cruise ship passengers to the Hector Heritage Quay.  (Goodwin photo)