The first cruise ship of the season sailed into Halifax Harbour yesterday, launching what the manager of the cruise development for the Port of Halifax says is going to be a “strong year.”

Cathy McGrail says the roughly 220,000 passengers expected between yesterday and November amount to a 22 per cent increase over last season.

McGrail says the boost in numbers is the result of a combination of an increase in consumer demand and a move on the part of cruise lines to add new vessels to their fleets.

“Definitely what they call the Canada-New England itinerary is something that is becoming one of the destinations that consumers like,” she said.