August 13, 2014 2:20 pm

Ambassatours acquires Murphy’s to expand sightseeing business

HALIFAX – What do pink buses, kilts, a large tugboat wearing a cap and tall ships have in common?

As of Wednesday, they’re all owned by the same company — Nova Scotia’s Ambassatours Gray Line has acquired the Halifax-based Murphy’s The Cable Wharf to form what it says is the largest land-and-sea sightseeing company in Canada.

The merger brings together Ambassatours’ Big Pink double-decker buses with Murphy’s tall ships, Theodore Tugboat and Harbour Hopper tours.

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“By being able to do buses, boats, restaurant and gift shop, we are able to package our product much better to those who are looking for it,” said Murphy’s CEO Jeff Farwell, who will now serve as the company’s president.

“It’s going to make Nova Scotia much more competitive against the other Atlantic provinces and provinces throughout Canada.”

Murphy’s businesses, including the restaurant and gift shop at the historic Cable Wharf, will keep the Murphy’s name under the Ambassatours umbrella.

“We’re excited that not only are there going to be no job losses, we expect that we’re going to be growing. And that growth will involve hiring more people,” said Dennis Campbell, CEO of Ambassatours.

For the rest of the tourism season, the two companies will begin cross-promoting their services and eventually expand the Murphy’s water tour services outside of the city.

Murphy’s recently bought four new amphibious vehicles and they’re looking to bring Harbour Hopper tours to Cape Breton.

“[We will] really look at where are the assets in Nova Scotia — how can we develop provincial tourism and really strategically align ourselves so that when people come here, they have the awesome experience that we can deliver and they’re telling people about it,” Farwell said.

“[We want to ensure] we’re getting return clients coming back to our province.”

With files from The Canadian Press

© Shaw Media, 2014

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