4 cruise ships to bring 6,000 people to Sydney on Saturday

The port in Sydney, N.S., is preparing for a busy Saturday, with four vessels expected to call on the city. While three ships were originally scheduled to arrive, a fourth — the Silver Wind — is arriving a day early due to weather.

The four ships will be carrying a total of almost 6,000 passengers.

"It's very unusual. We've only had it once before," Nicole MacAulay, the port's manager of cruise and administration, said of the four-vessel visit.

She said the unexpected addition required changing logistics and an increase in security.

The extra traffic is a taste of what's to come next cruise season, with the opening of Sydney's second berth.

Submitted by Harry Sheppard

MacAulay is expecting 200,000 passengers next year, an increase of 70,000 passengers over 2018.

"It will also increase the passengers that are just walking around downtown Sydney and eating at restaurants ... so it just makes things busier for a lot of people on the island," she said.

To prepare, the port will be working with tour operators and others in the community to make adjustments to better handle the influx of visitors to Sydney, such as the operating hours of museums and the number of buses needed.

MacAulay expects the growth to continue in years to come, as cruise lines deploy larger vessels in the region.

Sydney was scheduled to have a visit Thursday from its largest cruise ship yet by passenger count, the 4,500-passenger MSC Meraviglia. It was diverted due to weather, but is scheduled to call again on Oct. 23.