October 4, 2018 6:23 pm
Updated: October 4, 2018 8:52 pm

Halifax Port Authority exploring potential cruise-ship berths at Alderney Landing, Purdy’s Wharf

Thu, Oct 4: It's expected to be another record year for cruise ship visits to Halifax. And as Steve Silva reports, to facilitate growth further down the line, the Halifax Port Authority is exploring potentially constructing new berths.

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Potential new berths for cruise ships are being explored at Purdy’s Wharf in Halifax and Alderney Landing in Dartmouth, N.S.

“This is all very preliminary right now,” said Lane Farguson, manager of media relations and communications for the Halifax Port Authority, on Thursday.

This kind of berth would be a first for Dartmouth, he said.

“We’ve seen some very favourable growth in the cruise industry here in Halifax,” Farguson said.

Last year, there were 173 cruise ship visits with 292,000 crew members and guests — a record — he said. About 200 visits and more than 300,000 people are expected this year.

To facilitate future growth, there will eventually be a need for another berth, Farguson said.

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The organization is in the exploratory stage. It’s gathering feedback from stakeholders on potential locations, and it’s too early in the process to talk about the number of new berths, their designs, and any construction, he said.

READ MORE: Halifax cruise season entering its busiest time

Tim Rissesco, executive director of the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission, is part of a working group discussing possible sites for new berths.

Halifax Harbour pictured from Dartmouth, N.S., on Oct. 4, 2018.

Steve Silva / Global News

A new berth in the Alderney Landing area would be a good call, he said.

“It provides cruise ship passengers with more experiences, and it provides downtown Dartmouth with potentially more feet on the street,” Rissesco said at the site.

With ships that can carry thousands of passengers, even a small percentage of them spending time in Dartmouth could result in a noticeable economic boost, he said.

WATCH: Cruise passengers upset after trip to Bermuda redirected to Atlantic Canada

The berth would make it easier for ships’ passengers to get to other communities in the province, including Annapolis Valley and the Eastern Shore, Rissesco said.

“The potential costs for a cruise ship terminal in Dartmouth can be mitigated by the fact that we have a lot of the things already here with Alderney Landing. We have the facility to welcome cruise ship passengers. We have easy access to parking for buses,” he said.

Farguson said core samples from the base of Halifax Harbour at the sites are scheduled to be collected via drilling to get a better understanding of what’s there.

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