YARMOUTH - The cruise ship MS Fram, operated by the Norway-based Hurtigruten Group, anchored just east of the Cape Forchu lighthouse on May 2, with close to 150 passengers brought ashore by the ship’s tenders to disembark at the Lobster Rock wharf slipway.
Local tour guide David Sollows said the decision to anchor outside the harbour and send guests by zodiac was made by those in charge of the ship.
“For many, our tides are tricky. They are also part of what makes this area special,” he said.
He added that the cruise line is used to accessing hard-to-reach places and that visitors complimented the paved slip at the Lobster Rock Wharf.
A welcoming committee of local dignitaries and representatives from the tourism association greeted the arrivals and arranged for onshore tours through the heritage district and tea at the museum.
Many shops on Water Street also opened for the visitors.
In the afternoon, Sollows took the captain and a group of travel agents to Dennis Point Wharf and Le Village in West Pubnico.
“They chose to take their group photo at Dennis Point Wharf overlooking the water and found the landscape at Le Village very beautiful and peaceful. Even drinking tea out of china cups with saucers was an experience for them,” he said.
When he mentioned to an ornithologist in the group that there were puffins on Green Island, the visitor wanted to see if renting a zodiac to visit was possible.
“For people that have always lived here and haven’t experienced a lot of other places, we don’t tend to value what’s right in front of our noses,” said Sollows.
He said he’s “pretty confident” that the sights the visitors saw will have spinoffs and that there will be other groups.
“The thing with the cruise industry is that it is challenging. For example, if the seas had been rough yesterday, they may have had to bypass us. People may say it was a lot of preparation for nothing, but that’s not so. It all adds to your level of readiness,” he said.
The Yarmouth stop was part of a tour that had the ship travelling from New York City and eventually ending its voyage in Halifax.
The Town of Shelburne also welcomed a cruise ship to port on May 2. The ocean liner Marina has an estimated 1,000 passengers and 800 crew members.
More about the cruise ship market
Yarmouth and Acadian Shores Tourism Association (YASTA) is working with the Atlantic Canada Cruise Association to market partner ports and niche cruise ports, which Yarmouth is now officially listed as.