Ship boat

Out of the Fog: Cruise Passengers Land in Louisbourg

Louisbourg, N.S. — Growing up in the historic fishing village of Louisbourg, Carrie Croucher could never have imagined that luxury cruise ships would one day visit the small port of Cape Breton.

The 81-year-old Porters Lake resident returns to her hometown every year, but this time she was there in search of the adventure cruise ship Silver Cloud which was scheduled to visit for eight hours on Sunday.

“We came to pick up the cruise ship but ended up sitting here watching the fishing boats come in,” laughed Croucher, who along with his cousin Sherry Hatfield had commandeered a picnic table with a great view of the ocean.

In reality, the passengers of the Silver Cloud stopped over in Louisbourg. But the ship did not. Dense fog, not unusual for the area, prevented the 157-meter-long ship from entering the sometimes dangerous small port. Passengers aboard the Silversea Cruises ship, anchored unseen in the offshore fog, made their way to the Louisbourg docks aboard Zodiac boats.

Cruise ship passenger Margaret Wrathur-Knaughtsaye, from London, England, said she and her husband chose an adventure cruise because of unique locations such as Louisbourg, Newfoundland and Greenland. Passengers aboard the Silver Cloud vessel were forced to shore in zodiacs after heavy fog prevented the vessel from entering the small harbour. DAVID JALA/CAPE BRETON POST – David Jala

Market related

Some made their way to the nearby Louisbourg Market, set up at the senior center, where the first face many encountered was that of Sarah Doue, who runs the Louisbourg Visitor Information Center.

“It’s so great that the cruise ships are coming back,” said Doue, who was raised in Lubbock, Texas, by parents from Cape Breton.

“I love being by the ocean! This will be my fifth summer here and the last two were obviously different due to COVID. So it’s wonderful to see people coming back. Locals have also come to visit the market and the cruise ship, which of course they cannot see today because of the fog.

On the dock, cruise ship biologist Malcom Turner was taking photos of the birds flocking and calling around the dock. It’s almost as if the seagulls knew it on the first day of the local lobster fishing season.

“I’m part of the expedition team and I travel on cruise ships to give presentations,” the Australian said matter-of-factly of a profession many would consider a dream job.

“I just came back from the (Cape Breton) Miners’ Museum and found it very impressive. This is my first trip here but I’ve been to Greenland before. I look forward to the Îles-de-la-Madeleine and L’Anse-aux-Meadows in Newfoundland.

The Silver Cloud’s 19-day voyage began in Halifax with Louisbourg as the first port of call. After the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, it will head northeast across the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Greenland. The last days of the trip are spent in Scotland and the tour ends in Southampton, England.

Sarah Doue happily welcomed the first cruise passengers of the season to the Louisbourg market on Sunday during the visit of the Silver Cloud.  The 157-meter expedition vessel was actually anchored outside the harbor as thick fog prevented its entry.  DAVID JALA/CAPE BRETON POST - David Jala
Sarah Doue happily welcomed the first cruise passengers of the season to the Louisbourg market on Sunday during the visit of the Silver Cloud. The 157-meter expedition vessel was actually anchored outside the harbor as thick fog prevented its entry. DAVID JALA/CAPE BRETON POST – David Jala

particular port

And it was visits to non-traditional cruise ports that attracted Margaret Wrathur-Knaughtsaye.

“Because it’s an expedition ship, it allows us to visit this kind of place, so it’s a lot more interesting than your standard bog cruises,” said the well-travelled resident of Greater London in the Kingdom. -United.

For its part, the Silver Cloud is an ultra-luxury ship with reinforced hulls that allow it to visit the icy waters of the North Atlantic. Passengers can explore remote and remarkable locations by day and enjoy amenities, such as a heated swimming pool, spa and fine dining on board. The 29-year-old ship carries 212 crew members and has a capacity of 296 passengers.

The Silver Cloud was the first cruise ship to visit Louisbourg this season. However, there was considerable hype last month when the Viking Octantis was due to call as the first cruise ship to visit Atlantic Canada since before the COVID pandemic began. The ship canceled the tour after being delayed by bad weather from New York.

The next cruise ship scheduled for Louisbourg is another adventure expedition ship called the Ocean Endeavour. The 199-passenger ship will be in port on June 18. Eleven cruise ships were scheduled for Louisbourg in 2022.

The next cruise ship to visit neighboring Sydney will be Holland America’s Zaandam, which will make its first of 16 visits to Cape Breton on May 18. There are 83 cruise ships scheduled to visit Sydney in 2022.

Meanwhile, back in the Louisbourg area, Carrie Croucher and her cousin Sherry were getting ready for another night at a remote lodge by Fiddlers Lake in Gabarus.

“Is there a better place than Cape Breton? she asked. “No, and it will always be home.”

Australian biologist Malcolm Turner takes pictures Sunday in the Port of Louisbourg waiting for a zodiac to return to the Silver Cloud cruise which was anchored outside the port.  Turner works for the cruise line and lectures aboard the expedition ship.  DAVID JALA/CAPE BRETON POST - David Jala
Australian biologist Malcolm Turner takes pictures Sunday in the Port of Louisbourg waiting for a zodiac to return to the Silver Cloud cruise which was anchored outside the port. Turner works for the cruise line and lectures aboard the expedition ship. DAVID JALA/CAPE BRETON POST – David Jala