New Shore Excursions
New Shore Excursions in Charlottetown Proving To Be A Big Hit For Visiting Cruise Lines and Their Passengers
(Charlottetown, PE November 10, 2010)The Cruise industry is the fastest growing sector in Tourism and Charlottetown is no stranger to adapting to these emerging markets. In an effort to expand our Shore Excursion product Aquila Tours partnered with the Culinary Institute of Canada to offer the Seafood 101 Culinary Bootcamp. After just one visit, the shore excursion received such rave reviews from passengers that the Executive Chef onboard the ship decided to participate!
Seeing new shore excursions added to the already solid lineup on Prince Edward Island is definitely exciting for the Charlottetown Harbour Authority. "This is just what we've been working towards for the past year," explains Corryn Morrissey, Manager of Marketing and Communications with the Authority. "We need to continually be looking at new ways to expand our Shore Excursion product. This just gives the (cruise) lines that many more reasons to bring their ships here."
"Guests onboard the 6-star, 375-passenger cruise ship Silver Whisper (Silversea Cruises) were in for a culinary treat this season in Charlottetown," describes Scott Kinney, Shore Concierge Manager on the Silver Whisper. " For the first time ever, a new shore excursion called SEAFOOD 101 was added to the sightseeing and enrichment programs being offered as part of the ship's official tour selections for Charlottetown." A small number of lucky guests were taken to the Culinary Institute of Canada for a half-day hands-on seafood cooking and preparation program, followed by a chance to sample all the dishes which were prepared. "Our guests advised, back onboard the ship, that this was one of the finest, most enjoyable and best organized shore excursions they have ever participated in. The cruise ship's Executive Chef Lionel Lavergne escorted one of the groups and commented that this program could be highly recommended. "The guests loved it!" according to Lavergne. So, we know that we have a winner in Charlottetown with SEAFOOD 101. If we have one regret, it's that the ship has now left Canada for warmer climates and won't be returning until next September and October."
Shore Excursions play an important role in the Cruise industry for a number of reasons. Passengers are looking for experiences unique to that particular destination, and Cruise lines are looking to offer an excursion product that is superior in service and will bring happy passengers back to the cruise ships.
Charlottetown has done just that in the newest creation of the Seafood 101 Culinary Bootcamp that was recently offered through Silver Seas cruises, onboard the Silver Whisper this past fall. The Culinary Institute of Canada, partnering with Aquila Tours offered the first Island Culinary Bootcamps to passengers visiting this fall and it was received with rave reviews.
"This seemed like such a natural fit for us to move into the cruise shore excursion product," states Marsha Doiron, Manager Ancillary Services with Holland College. "Culinary Tourism is a growing market and certainly here on Prince Edward Island, we have embraced that. We have the perfect facility to welcome these passengers in, show them how to prepare foods and also showcase the wonderful product that comes directly from the Island."
"At Aquila, we're always on the lookout for unique, authentic experiences that really showcase the best of the destination, and we're excited about the opportunities on Prince Edward Island that could be packaged into shore excursions that would allow cruise ship visitors to Charlottetown to meet local people and experience the rich culture of the Island," states Melanie Colpitts, managing partner with Aquila Tours. "The Seafood 101 program at the Culinary Institute is a perfect example of an excursion that guests get really excited about."
Aquila Tours, a shore excursion provider operating out of Saint John, New Brunswick was one of two companies to expand their business to include tours in Charlottetown for the first time this year. Ambassatours, another prominent tour company has also moved to the Island, offering unique and exciting new shore excursions to the visiting cruise lines. Previously only Atlantic Cruise Ship Services offered Shore Excursions for the PEI port.
Prior to the expansion of the South Berth, Charlottetown typically enjoyed 20-28,000 visitors per annum, representing approximately 20 ports of call. In 2010, Charlottetown welcomed just under 100,000 passengers and crew, The estimated economic impact for 2011 is approximately $5.3 million.
Manager of Marketing & Communications
Charlottetown Harbour Authority