WOODY POINT — Cruise ships won't start visiting Bonne Bay until September.
Last July, the MS Maasdam dropped anchor in Woody Point bringing with it 1,000 tourists to the scenic Bonne Bay town. And, according to Woody Point cruise ship committee spokesman Fred MacLean, the town saw roughly twice that number of tourists from all of the ships that visited during the season. However, this summer numbers will likely be down.
This year, three ships will visit in September starting with the Le Boreal on Sept. 9, followed by the Quest for Adventure the next day. The Caledonian Sky will visit on Sept. 23, while the Clipper Adventure will drop anchor and mark the end of the cruise ship season on Oct. 5.
The MS Maasdam is scheduled to visit Corner Brook, but will bypass Woody Point.
"Unfortunately we don't set the cruise ship schedules, (the cruise line companies) do," said MacLean. "We will see less passengers come ashore this year, but we are hoping that it will generate spinoffs for the area."
This will be the fourth year the committee will handle cruise ship activities, having taken over from town council. The committee set up a local market and entertainment, as well as a welcoming committee for passengers last year and will do the same this season.
The committee is currently in the planning stages for this year, and there is no plan on making any major changes. MacLean said from past visitor surveys, the committee has been doing things right, said MacLean.
"We ask passengers what we could do differently and the answer is always 'nothing.' They always seem to have a good time" he said. "They always seem to love how they're treated and the scenery."
This year's total number of disembarking passengers could be approximately 1,500 to Woody Point depending on how many actually decide to come ashore for an excursion. MacLean said the area tends to leave a lasting impression, as he has met tourists who drove back the following summer after being a cruise ship passenger because they loved the area so much.