Nova Scotia Cruise Ports Preparing for Growth


February 2, 2023, Halifax, Nova Scotia – With over 300 expected vessel calls across the province, cruise in Nova Scotia is returning to growth. Nova Scotia is a place that people love to visit thanks to the natural beauty of our coastal province, authentic experiences, and the legendary hospitality of our tourism sector. This is the foundation of the Nova Scotia cruise industry, and it is from there that we will continue to grow. The combined economic benefit associated with cruise in Halifax and Sydney is over $225 million, based on 2019 economic impact data.  There are several niche ports in Nova Scotia looking forward to cruise vessels in 2023 including Shelburne, Lunenburg, Pictou County, Baddeck, Yarmouth, and Louisbourg.

The 2023 Nova Scotia cruise season is scheduled to start on April 22 in Halifax with the arrival of Norwegian Dawn, a Norwegian Cruise Line vessel. The season will run until November 9, 2023, when the Silversea Cruises’ Silver Shadow departs Halifax. Sydney’s first vessel will be the Holland America Line Zaandam on April 25, and the last vessel will be the Oceania Insignia on November 5.

The Port of Halifax is expecting 191 vessel calls carrying approximately 325,000 cruise guests and Sydney is expecting 112 vessels and over 200,000 guests. These numbers highlight the significance of the industry and demonstrate the competitive advantage of Nova Scotia as a seacoast tourism destination.

“The return of the cruise industry in 2022 contributed to a very strong recovery for tourism across the region,” said Captain Allan Gray, President and CEO, Halifax Port Authority. “With our partners, we are looking forward to growth in 2023, and finding new and exciting ways of further developing this industry for our province and extending the economic benefits that come with cruise.”

“This year will be a record breaking year for Sydney,” said Marlene Usher, CEO, Port of Sydney. “We have surpassed our pre-COVID numbers and are positioned well for the future. Our success is due in large part to our industry partners and our winning reputation as an Island destination. The economic benefits to our region are significant and the future looks bright.”

“After a solid recovery in 2022, we are so excited to be preparing for a year of growth in the cruise sector,” said Dennis Campbell, President and CEO, Ambassatours Gray Line. “Sharing our Maritime heritage and culture is what drives us. We look forward to welcoming our returning guests and meeting new ones.”

2023 Sydney Cruise Highlights include:

  • 24 Cruise lines
  • 14 inaugural calls
  • Two Ship days – 19
  • Three ship days – 4
  • Four ship days – 1
  • One visit from Norwegian Prima on May 17
  • One visit from Cunard Line Queen Mary 2 on October 9

A full schedule for Sydney can be found on the Port of Sydney website.

2023 Halifax Cruise Highlights include:

  • 11 scheduled inaugural calls
  • Three ship days – 23
  • Four ship days – 1
  • Five ship days – 2
  • One visit from Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas on May 31, the fourth largest cruise ship in the world
  • Two visits from the Cunard Line Queen Mary 2, on July 2 and October 1

A complete vessel posting for Halifax can be found on the Cruise Halifax website and the live schedule can be found on PortControl.

About the Port of Sydney:
The Port of Sydney is the ocean gateway to scenic Cape Breton Island. With its gracious and proud people, rich Gaelic heritage, and sweeping landscapes, a visit to the Port of Sydney on Cape Breton Island creates a spiritual awakening that is sure to captivate you and keep you longing to return.

About Cruise Halifax:
Halifax is the marquee cruise port in Atlantic Canada, welcoming hundreds of thousands of cruise guests in a typical year. The cruise industry is a major contributor to the local tourism economy in Atlantic Canada.


Emily Richardson
Communications Coordinator
Halifax Port Authority
Ph. (902) 229-8011
[email protected]

Samantha Ash
Manager, Cruise & Administration
Port of Sydney Development Corporation
Ph. (902) 317-1607
[email protected]