HALIFAX - Atlantic Canadians can expect to welcome more visitors to their coastal communities next summer, and the tall ship Caledonia may be the transportation mode of choice. Beginning in June 2004, the Caledonia a 245-foot barquentine and Canada's largest tall ship will host visitors on excursions to coastal communities throughout Atlantic Canada, providing economic spin-offs for the local economies.
Doug Prothero, President of Halifax-based Canadian Sailing Expeditions (CSE), which owns and operates the Caledonia, is confident that this experience will be attractive to vacationers and a boon to local communities. Prothero proudly says, "Our passengers will see remote culturally-significant communities, unique United Nations World Heritage Sites and some of Canada's finest natural experiences such as the whales of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, all within the comfort of modern amenities but with a definite 'Old World Charm' found in Tall Ships cruising".
The Caledonia arrived in Halifax harbour today and was greeted by local, provincial and federal representatives at a reception to welcome the ship to its new homeport. It was escorted into harbour by the Silva, which is also owned by CSE.
The Caledonia will spend the winter in Halifax undergoing reconstruction to her interior decks. Once completed, the ship will feature 34 cabins, a library, salon and dining room, and will comfortably accommodate 80 passengers and a crew of 20. It will start 7-day excursions, bringing international visitors to coastal communities, in June 2004.
The Caledonia offers a unique, viable business opportunity for Nova Scotia that builds on our maritime heritage, said Stephen Lund, President and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI), whose organization recently approved a $2-million term-loan for CSE. NSBI finances companies with strong business cases and a potential to generate long-lasting economic benefits for the province. Our loan with CSE will create additional employment opportunities and generate increased tourism revenues for coastal communities.
A study conducted earlier this year by Market Quest Research Group Inc. for the Atlantic Canada Cruise Association (ACCA) indicated that cruise passenger visitation accounted for about $22 million into the Atlantic Canadian economy. Statistics indicate the Caledonia port calls will generate more than $1 million in new tourist dollars annually for coastal communities.
ACCA is very proud to be a partner in marketing the Caledonia with CSE, said Betty MacMillan, Chair of Atlantic Canada Cruise Association, and is proud to be associated with the arrival of Caledonia in Halifax.
For more information on the Caledonia or Canadian Sailing Expeditions, visit www.cansailexp.com