With the arrival today of two ships, the Halifax cruise season for 2018 has come to an end. Insignia tied up at pier 22 and Silver Wind at pier 23 on another day of high winds and driving rain. The last few weeks have been plagued by wild weather, and one wonders if lines will continue to come so late in the season where weather can be an issue. It is not just the missed or delayed port arrivals, but conditions at sea between ports must be less than idyllic too.
An uninviting looking pier 22 and pier 23 greeted the last visitors of 2018.
Insignia had an abbreviated visit October 29 - which was late at night and only long enough to take on needed fuel - and dropped its Sydney call altogether to head on to Quebec City. Silver Wind was also late arriving October 16 due to weather and sea conditions. Once again, as it did then, it used two tugs to berth. Remarkably I counted only two outright cancellations due to weather this year.
The ship Victory II that was late entering service from its refit and had to change its itinerary. That resulted in the loss of several calls. It, along with Pearl Mist, each cancelled a late season call, likely due to weather. There was the abbreviated call mentioned above and some unplanned overnight stays that likely resulted in cancellations at other ports.
Halifax has experienced a continued growth in the cruise business this year, and will likely do so again next year. A second berth in Sydney, NS next year is expected to mean more and larger ships in that port. It will also mean that fewer ships will have to tender passengers ashore from anchorage, making a Sydney call more attractive. The ports of Saint John, Sydney and Charlottetown see many of the same ships as Halifax, and improvements in one port will benefit all.