“Four years after the project was initially proposed, $13.3 million in combined federal and provincial funding for a second cruise ship berth at the port of Sydney was announced Monday.”
The Port of Sydney is expected to receive $6.66 million from each of the three levels of government, to build a 287 meter berth and a new administration office for the port. Premier Stephen McNeil, calls it a “significant and strategic investment in infrastructure.” The project is expected to take up to 18 months to complete and the Port is hoping it will be ready to accept passenger ships in fall of 2018, at the peak of the cruise ship season and in conjunction with the Celtic Colours Festival. Tourism numbers in Nova Scotia hit record highs in 2016, where it is estimated that 82,000 cruise ship passengers flowed through the Port of Sydney, accounting for part of Nova Scotia Tourism’s success.
What does this mean for the Port of Sydney?
The newly developed berth should allow some of the largest cruise vessel’s sailing today to dock at the Port. These ships will include Royal Caribbean International’s Freedom Class and Quantum Class ships, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Epic Class and Breakway Plus Class ships and Cunard Cruise Line’s Queen Mary II. Furthermore, the addition of the second berth will reduce the amount of cruise ships that have to anchor in the harbour and shuttle passengers to and from shore. Providing additional space to dock a cruise ship at Sydney will inevitably create a new market for cruise operators, elevating the traffic at other Ports and providing alternatives for future destinations. The cruise industry frowns on having vessels at anchor and views it as an inconvenience to its passengers. If cruise operators can find an alternative destination that can handle their vessel, you can be they will exhaust every effort to find a place to safely tie up and allow passengers to walk off their gangway and onto shore.