First-time cruisers often set their sights and itineraries on heading south toward the Caribbean. It’s just sort of the nature of the beast.
But those with more experience know that there’s a whole world of options out there, and one of those is sailings to ports in New England and Canada… and it looks as if the region will only become more popular with cruisers. During the Cruise Canada New England Symposium held in Montreal this week, one of the hot topics was the many reasons the region is expecting an influx of sea-loving voyagers in the years to come.
1. People fall in love with the region.
It’s already been well-established that most people who go on a cruise for the first time will book another. As it turns out, New England and Canada have the same effect on visitors who want to go back again and again.
2. It’s not just for “leaf peepers.”
While an increased number of cruises head north in the fall as the changing of the seasons turns the area into a gorgeous variety of colors, members of the CCNE alliance anticipate major growth in the next decade. “By 2026,” reports Michael Vanderbeeke, deputy director of business development for the port of Boston, “the region will be a premiere, year-round destination.”
3. It’s becoming easier to access.
Part of that anticipated boost in tourism will come thanks to a growing number of flights into the region’s various ports. The alliance — which is comprised of NYCruise, Massport, Cruise Maine USA, Cruise Atlantic Canada and Cruise St. Lawrence — is also making a major push to attract both Australian and Chinese tourists.
4. They want to make you happy.
Realizing that customer satisfaction is key, the CCNE plans to mount a major survey aimed at helping them understand who their existing and potential clients are. This will also involve working with the various cruise lines to cater port-based activities to the specific type of cruiser a given line caters to. “Each cruise line is always trying to differentiate itself and make the destination better for their guests,” Vanderbeeke explained.
5. They’re putting their money where their mouths are.
Along with the customer satisfaction survey, the ports also want to improve. The region will spend upwards of $656 million. This comes even as the citizens of Bar Harbor, Maine, agreed to a zoning change that will allow for an old ferry terminal to be transformed into a new cruise dock.
Have you taken a cruise to the Canadian New England region? If not, what would it take for you to try that type of itinerary?