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Welcoming tourists with a snow storm

Cruise ship passengers get a cold reception in Halifax.

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Cruise ship season in Halifax started a few weeks earlier than usual–hours ahead of a late spring #NSstorm.

Over 1,200 passengers, aboard the Oceania Cruises' vessel Marina, docked Monday morning for a crisp, maritime spring day.


Lane Farguson, manager of communications and media relations for the Halifax Port Authority, has worked six seasons in Halifax and says this is the earliest cruise ship call he can remember. Usually, the season starts closer to May, when the late spring flurries are sure to be gone.

But while Haligonians grumble about bringing the patio furniture they just put out back inside, cruise passengers signed up for the experience.

The cruise is technically a “global repositioning,” says Farguson, a one-off run that's happening because Oceania is reassigning its boat to a new job in Europe.

Cruise companies turn a profit when moving a vessel to a new region by turning the relocation into a cruise itself. The Marina departed in New York City and its final destination is London in the United Kingdom.

Oceania sold its voyageurs an Atlantic Encounter, complete with beer-based tours in both Halifax and Dublin, Ireland, and tours showcasing the rich Atlantic coastal history of Canada.

“These guests would have known about the weather ahead of time,” says Farguson. They’re probably more prepared than any Halifax resident wishing they’d waited another week to change their winter tires.

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