Brand new cruise begins calling on Toronto |
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A brand new cruise ship, the Cape May Light, will begin regular calls at the
Port of Toronto with its first arrival on Thursday, July 12. The vessel will
dock at the Queen Elizabeth Docks, 255 Queens Quay East. The ship, launched in
May of this year and designed to be similar to the Fall River Line vessels that
plied the east coast of North America in the 19th century, is scheduled to
visit Toronto 10 times between now and September 11.
There will be two cruises between Halifax, Nova Scotia and Buffalo, New York
and eight cruises between Quebec City and Buffalo. The ship is 300 feet in
length and has a passenger capacity of 224 with 113 cabins, 10 of which are
outside staterooms. Being so new, the boat is yet to be rated by Berlitz, but
it is expected to obtain an admirable four-star rating.
The Cape May Light is operated by Delta Queen Coastal Voyages, a division of
American Classic Voyages Company of Miami, Florida, which also operate cruises
on the Mississippi River and the Pacific Ocean (to Hawaii and along the
northwest coast of the United States).
In 2002, Cape May Light will be joined by a sister ship Cape Cod Light, and
between them they will cruise the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes.
Thursday's visit to Toronto will be the 14th day of a 15-day cruise from
Halifax to Buffalo, arriving in Toronto at 7 a.m. and affording the passengers
the complete day and evening to discover the city's many attractions. Upon
disembarking passengers in Buffalo on July 14, the Cape May Light will begin
the eight cruises between Buffalo and Quebec City and will return to Toronto at
8 a.m. on Sunday, July 15, and spend Monday, July 16 here.
This era of cruise ship visits to Toronto started in 1997 when the German ship
Columbus entered the Great Lakes for several cruises. It has returned every
year. In 1998, Columbus was joined by a brand-new French ship, Le Levant, which
has done eight cruises a year between Toronto and Chicago since that time. Le
Levant returns to Toronto on September 4, and the Columbus will be right behind
with arrival on September 5. In total, there will be 20 cruise ship visits to
the Port of Toronto this year, up from eight visits in 2000.
The cruise business is the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry and
the Great Lakes, newly discovered to the cruise lines, are among the fastest
Cruise passengers on the Great Lakes are seeking something different than the
traditional float-in-the-sun cruises in the Caribbean or visiting the Alaska
inside passage. The diversity of the Great Lakes, from large cities such as
Toronto and Chicago to quaint towns and villages, the tremendous natural
beauty, the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Welland Canal experience combine to
provide tremendous diversity on the largest freshwater body in the world.