Port City do we have a day for you on June 7th!

Join us on the waterfront on June 7th between 11 am – 3 pm for an afternoon of fun, games and fundraising as Port Saint John and co-presenting sponsors Irving Oil Ltd and TransCanada host the 5th Annual Community Day.

Step inside the doors of Marco Polo Cruise Terminal and Diamond Jubilee Cruise Terminal for educational and entertaining exhibits from port, industry and community stakeholders.

The fun continues outside, where you can take in large equipment displays, jump in inflatable bouncers or dunk someone in the pay-for-play dunk tank (proceeds to PALS – Partners Assisting Local Schools).

Adding to the day’s festivities is our new mascot Champ, an adorable and inquisitive harbour seal. Champ will be weaving in and out of the crowds, standing for pictures and passing out his new book, Port City Champ, an illustrated story depicting his adventures living in the Saint John harbour.

Port City Champ_Cover

Take a tour or ride something new this year.  We have a great variety of tours and rides with:

  • Little Obie, CN’s mini train making circuits around Lower Cove Terminal from Diamond Jubilee Cruise Terminal (South door exit);
  • The Canadian Forces providing Light Armoured Vehicles. Meet them near the North side of Diamond Jubilee Cruise Terminal at the gate along the water;
  • Two Big Pink Bus Tours will take attendees for a round trip from the Diamond Jubilee Cruise Terminal to Fort Howe on the authentic antique double-decker buses. Starting as soon as a bus fills after 11 am with the last run leaving at 2:30 pm.  Find the Big Pink Buses at the South door of Diamond Jubilee Cruise Terminal; and, finally
  • We’ll have tours of the commercial Port again this year thanks to our partners at Aquila Tours who have loaned us 2 trolleys and 2 guides to share our Port story with you. Tour departs from south doors of Diamond Jubilee Cruise Terminal beginning at 1:15 pm and thereafter every 30 minutes until 2:15 pm.  This tour takes place entirely on the Aquila Trolley but thanks to our partners at the terminals you will see the Barrack Point Potash Terminal, Rodney Container Terminal, and American Iron and Metals operation.


You also won’t want to miss Atlantic Towing Ltd’s tug water display which will take place in the harbour in front of the Cruise Terminals starting at 1:30 pm.  A great place to watch this from is the roof of the Diamond Jubilee Cruise Terminal.

Princesses, face painting, balloon tying, magic and Little Ray’s Reptiles will round out a huge variety of entertainment options for children of all ages.

Before you leave for the day be sure to grab some dollar snacks or BBQ with hotdogs, popcorn, cotton candy and snow cones on the carnival menu.  Proceeds from these snack items go towards our Community Day charity PALS (Partners Assisting Local Schools).

More than 8,000 people attended Community Day last year. Join us this year!

When & Where:  June 7, 2015 from 11 am – 3 pm on Water Street

Find up-to-the minute event information on our Facebook page (Facebook.com/PortSaintJohn )

Earlier start, longer season, introduction of homeport cruises and more ships highlight 2015 cruise season

A longer season, more ships and the start of homeport cruises with Blount Small Ship Adventures are just a few of this year’s good news stories for Cruise Saint John.

Monday May 11th will be the official kick off the 27th cruise season for Saint John with the arrival of Oceania CruisesMarina.  The last of 60 calls this year will take place on Tuesday November 3rd with Seven Seas Navigator (Regent Seven Seas Cruises).

Highlights of the 2015 season, include visits from 15 different cruise lines over 5 months,  11   double cruise ship days, 2 triple cruise ship days, 4 inaugural calls and a visit from the ever-popular Queen Mary 2 on September 30.

Cruise 2015 Season Highlights - Final

Ships from a number of these lines will call through the summer months this year including Norwegian Cruise Line who will be visiting twice in the month of June as we work toward increasing our overall summer calls.

Blount Small Ship Adventures will homeport in Saint John this year with 2 cruises on a 10-day itinerary between Saint John and Portland.    The expedition class Grande Caribe will be at the new floating dock on Water Street from July 29-August 3 and August 21-August 25 as they both end and begin cruises with guests joining and leaving this ship from Saint John.   A homeport (turnaround) cruise differs from a traditional ‘port of call’ visit primarily by the feature that guests can begin or end their cruise from a homeport.

In total approximately 121,000 guests and 48,000 crew members will visit Southern New Brunswick on cruise ships in 2015.

The cruise industry will be responsible for $26.5 million in economic impact to New Brunswick’s tourism sector this year.

To keep abreast of cruise information all year follow Cruise Saint John and Port Saint John on Facebook and Port Saint John on Twitter (@PortSaintJohn).  The cruise schedule is available online at www.sjport.com.

The Marco Polo Cruise Terminal gets a sophisticated new look!

Above: the ABC’s of Judith Mackin’s colour scheme for the Marco Polo terminal. A:  Existing ceiling colour. The new palate had to play nice with this shade, since it wasn’t changing. B:  All columns, the wall area above the wood in the main foyer, and all window/door trim in that area too. C:  The wall area in the back entrance, washroom hallway areas. D:  Wall area and trim above wood in the main terminal area.

Above: the ABC’s of Judith Mackin’s colour scheme for the Marco Polo terminal.
A: Existing ceiling colour. The new palate had to play nice with this shade, since it wasn’t changing.
B: All columns, the wall area above the wood in the main foyer, and all window/door trim in that area too.
C: The wall area in the back entrance, washroom hallway areas.
D: Wall area and trim above wood in the main terminal area.

Monday January 19 saw the scissor-lift go up and the drop cloths go down in the Marco Polo Cruise Terminal. In what will be a month-long project, the building will bid adieu to its dusty rose walls and get a fresh coat of paint that will neutralize and modernize its look.

Emily Teed, Venues Coordinator at Port Saint John, says the change was based largely on feedback from venue rental clients.

“This is our third year of renting the space for weddings and other events, and our clients have told us that the existing colour is hard to work with. We wanted to act on that feedback, and give them a more neutral space – but we also wanted to blend in with the surroundings of our neighbourhood in an historic but also contemporary way,” she says.

That was the direction the Port gave to Judith Mackin of PUNCH Inside – when they asked her develop a new colour scheme for the space.

“I was really pleased to be brought in on the conversation,” says Mackin. “I felt there was a lot we could do to enhance the visitor and user experience with some simple cosmetic changes.”

Mackin’s vision for the new colour scheme, which embraces the wood paneling, polished concrete floor and blue ceiling already in place, conjures up visions of bright and airy Scandinavian airport terminals that mix white with natural textures of wood, concrete and glass.

“It’s no secret that I am an ambassador of white in design,” says Mackin.  “But it really is a great fit for this project. In large spaces like Marco Polo terminal, colour needs to be downplayed. When the building is in use, it’s full of visitors and guests. The focus should be on what’s happening in the room, or on the beautiful views of our harbour and cityscape – not on the walls.”

Above: the team from Tim Desmond Painting, hard at work. (Credit: Judith Mackin)

Above: the team from Tim Desmond Painting, hard at work. (Credit: Judith Mackin)

Bids from three painting companies were solicited, and Tim Desmond Painting was awarded the month-long contract.

“As a rental space for hundreds of events a year, the new colour scheme will be a minimalist backdrop which will accommodate a wide variety of event décor styles, and result in better on-site photography,” says Mackin. “It will also create a soothing, modern environment for cruise passenger reception. Travel can be a stressful time, and a space with minimal visual distractions will complement the visitor experience.”

The project will be complete before the end of February.

“We are really looking forward to the finished product,” says Jim Quinn, CEO of Port Saint John. “We think it will have a tremendous positive impact on the space, raising the bar for the Port as one of the city’s most important venues.”

To book a site tour for your upcoming event, send an email to Emily Teed at: eteed@sjport.com

Resurgence in port activity – the time to modernize is now

There’s a resurgence of port activity with the attraction of some of the world’s top container shipping lines including Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Tropical Shipping —offering weekly service to global markets through Saint John. .

We have nearly doubled this cargo sector since 2012.

More than 350 ports worldwide are now accessible through Port Saint John every week.

Impact across New Brunswick

As a Province, we must remember that Port Saint John is a transition point.

Cargo comes to the Port from many different locations across the Province.

On this map you can easily see many different industries from across New Brunswick that use the current container services of Port Saint John to get to global markets.


Whether it be peat moss, forest products, frozen foods, or aquaculture, this Port has the services to allow these companies to grow and positively impact the economies of the cities and towns they are located in.

It is also important to note that we handle cargo from the US and other Atlantic Canadian provinces.

With all this being said, the time to modernize is now

Deeper, stronger, and more efficient

To compete and grow on the world stage a terminal upgrade is required to accommodate larger vessels and to have the handling capacity to service modern fleets.

For our conceptual design we worked with a well-known company Hatch Mott MacDonald, a world leader in marine terminal designs.

Our objective is to be deeper, stronger and more efficient:

  1. This project is going to allow us to handle larger ships due to increased water depths.
  2. It will allow us to have a structure that can sustain more weight, and enable us to have larger cranes.
  3. We will have a larger, new intermodal rail yard to provide for more efficient movement of cargo from the ship to truck and rail, and consequently to/from inland markets.

We will also be able to handle heavier and greater volumes of other non-containerized cargo.

What we are proposing is a generational ‘hundred year’ fix for this Port.

The Project

We have been speaking the past few weeks about the $205 million cost.

This cost breaks down into two components which will be carried out over a 7-year period with no impact to current operations at the Port.

The first component is the wharf and terminal construction the cost of which is estimated to be $167 million.

This project also includes a capital dredging component of $38 million in the main channel that will not only improve conditions for today’s current users, but will also allow us to accommodate larger ships for both cargo and cruise.

And this is important for the cruise sector because they too are moving to larger ships requiring deeper water and we must stay competitive to maintain and grow this important sector in our Provincial economy.

The Economic Benefits

As part of our Building Canada application, our staff and consultants conducted an economic benefits analysis.

Activity from container growth alone will double the direct and indirect jobs attributed to this sector across the region from 500 to more than 1,000, not including economic growth spin-offs.


The multipurpose nature of the new terminal will also allow for growth in non-containerized cargo that will represent additional direct and indirect jobs.

We have a vision for a modernized terminal that includes the ability for New Brunswick to become a distribution centre for goods from around the world.  This is a story we tell as we market our Port to global shippers and receivers.

Success stories from other ports demonstrate that with increased cargo comes the potential for advanced manufacturing and distribution

Just imagine the hundreds of jobs that could be created for our provincial economy.

With respect to the construction period, our project will create more than 1,400 person years of direct and indirect jobs during the 7-year design and construction phase.  This means on average 200 jobs per year over the 7-year period.

The natural advantages

This is a major project for the future of our Port and Province.

  • Port Saint John is one of the major ports in the Atlantic Gateway with an excellent rail and road network
  • Port Saint John is ideally situated with some of the deepest ice-free tidal waters in Canada
  • US East Coast ports are becoming more and more congested
  • Shippers and receivers are looking for Eastern options
  • Port Saint John and New Brunswick are positioned be the solution
  • Thousands of people in Saint John and the province are working in port related industries including petroleum, potash, forestry, aquaculture, and import and export trades
  • The future growth of our province is dependent on a modern and efficient port that will provide New Brunswick companies with competitive exporting and importing facilities
  • The time is now to capitalize on our natural strengths and proximity to world markets

See a video about the project here.

Learn more about the Project by following us on Twitter @PortSaintJohn and Facebook Port Saint John

Farewell to the 2014 Cruise Season

As we prepare to welcome our final cruise ship of the season today, Monday, October 27th, we’re taking a look back over this season’s highlights which include:

  • 11 double cruise ship days
  • 2 triple cruise ship days
  • 8 inaugural calls
  • A new cruise line for the Port – Regent Seven Seas Cruises
  • A visit by Queen Mary 2
  • And our 1000th cruise visit since 1989!

Throughout this season, we have been amazed at the great photographs being shared with us on social media.    Photos have been taken from homes, offices or other great vantage points around the harbour.

We appreciate this interest in harbour activity and when we wanted something unique to give Ruby Princess for being the 1000th ship to visit Saint John (October 16), we went back to see if some of our social media fans had a great shot that would work great for us.

We found that image in the multitude taken over the past few months by Saint Johner Jordan McWilliams.

The image we chose shows Ruby Princess on her inaugural call to Saint John in September along with the Falls Shuttle, a frequent sight in the harbour.


We also wanted to learn a bit more about Jordan’s interest in photographing the Port and he kindly agreed to answer a few questions:

Q:    As an amateur photographer, and a Saint John resident, what most interests you about the Port?

A (Jordan):  We moved here from Alberta eight years ago and the port amazed me. From the ship traffic to the tides. I like everything about the port.

Q: Did you have a favourite ship to shoot? You’ve taken a number of great cruise shots over the past few months?  From the 

A (Jordan):  The Queen Mary 2 is my favourite ship to shoot. She is amazing.

Q :   And do you have a favourite photo from the collection?

A (Jordan):  I took a couple of pictures of the Queen Mary 2 last time she was here. They have to be my favourites.

You can follow Jordan’s photography of the Port and other things of interest to him in and around Saint John on Twitter & Instagram (@fundysnapper).

Here are some of our favourites from those Jordan took of his favourite Port subject, Queen Mary 2 (September 19).

Bx5FBbuCUAEWbwOMcWillams Queen Mary 2Bx6QFptCEAI3D7L

Queen Mary 2 is due again in the fall of 2015.

The entire 2015 cruise schedule will be posted in the new year on our cruise website www.cruisesaintjohn.com

Share your Port photos (cruise, cargo and events) with us on our sites:

 @PortSaintJohn on Twitter
“PortSaintJohn” on Instagram
Port Saint John” on Facebook

Jack Perry: Memories from a Port City Life

Every day, Jack Perry woke up and went down to the Port.

He started early or late, depending, and ended his shift covered in dust – the mark of a grain elevator operator.

He spent his entire career at the Port – all 50 years of it.

Perry, now 98, is still not far from our city’s industrial core. He lives at the Carleton-Kirk Lodge, the Port visible from the front step. His small room is packed with memories – a Toronto Maple Leafs blanket on the bed, a skating figurine on the shelf and whole albums of hunting and fishing photos in the closet.


He is one of eleven siblings, with three children of his own. One of his grandchildren looks after his port memorabilia – which Jack eagerly dropped off at the Port.

He talked for more than an hour, offering piles of old photographs and news clippings about the Port.

Perry’s history borders the Port. He grew up on Tower Street, just blocks from where he now resides. He went to the old New Albert School and Saint John Vocational School before leaving to work at the Port.

A grain elevator is true to its name. Tall towers used for receiving and storing grain, the mechanisms inside scoop grain up, bringing it to another level for storage.

photo 1

In the late 1800s, grain shipments to the Port increased after the development of rail links with western Canada. The port’s need for a grain elevator was met, first with one on the west side in 1893 and a second elevator on the east side.

It was a time of transition for the Port, changing from a regional port handling local goods to an international port shipping products from across Canada to the world.

The grain elevator was demolished over the course of several months in 2002, making room for new revenue streams for the Port. Now, piers 10 through 12 are used for the American Iron and Metal Facility, liquid bulk from the fish oil and Crosby’s Molasses tanks and Atlantic Towing’s modern tugboat facility.

Now, things are looking up. Container cargo rose by 60 per cent in 2013 and numbers continue to grow. Saint John is now a cruise port, attracting the world’s biggest cruise lines. We’re also an energy hub, home to Irving Oil and Canaport LNG. Port Saint John is the largest port in Atlantic Canada by volume.

Perry was happy to share his stories. He was worried the history of the grain elevators and hundreds of men and women who operated them would be lost.

“It’s so anyone could see that this is one of the best ports in Canada,” he said.

photo 2

Here comes the bride – and groom!

Port Saint John and From Menus to Venues Wedding and Event Planning are partnering to bring Insights: A Wedding Fair to the Marco Polo Cruise Terminal. This wedding show is specifically geared toward couples, complete with a fashion show, guest speakers and exclusive tours of Port Saint John Venues.

The event takes place on September 7th at 111 Water Street – home of the Port’s state-of-the-art cruise terminal and wedding venue. Doors open at noon.

We sat down with Haley Evans, wedding planner extraordinaire and the owner of From Menus to Venues, to get some more information on the event.

Visit the website for details.  http://www.insightsweddingfair.com/

View More: http://cgalleryphotography.pass.us/communityday

How is INSIGHTS different than other wedding shows?

  The Insights Wedding Fair was designed specifically with engaged couples in mind. After he pops the question, what next? Insights will help you answer your wedding planning questions, while getting expert advice from top of the line wedding professionals. Unlike other wedding shows, there will be more than just a wedding supplier trade show and fashion show at Insights. Engaged couples will also get a chance to have a free consultation with a certified wedding planner during our Speed Planning Activity, there will be guest speakers from the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada and thousands of dollars worth of prizes to be won. There will also be a Bridal Blowout Sale where past brides will be selling their new and lightly loved wedding decor, accessories and of course, wedding gowns! This will be New Brunswick’s wedding event of the year. 

What will exhibitors be showing off?

The exhibitors at Insights have been handpicked because they are great at what they do. At our supplier trade show, you’ll find exhibitors offering samples, giving out coupons, having contests and more! We have exhibitors in every category, so if you’re looking for a photographer, decorator, wedding planner, DJ… we have it all! 

What should every guest bring with them?

All guests should bring the following with them to the event:

  •      Their advance ticket – Purchasing your ticket in advance will not only save you time at the door, but will enter you in more contests and you’ll receive a free swag bag if you’re one of the first 100 people at the event with an advanced ticket. Tickets can be purchased online at www.insightsweddingfair.com or in person at Port Saint John, Garnett’s Bridal Boutique and Inspire Collections. 
  •      A pen & date book to keep track of appointments and events
  •      A check book and some cash – you never know which vendors you will fall in love with! Be ready to book them on the spot to save your date. You will also want to have some cash for the Bridal Blowout Sale and to grab a drink at the bar! 
  •      The wedding party – Bond with your wedding party at Insights! It’s always good to have others with you to help make decisions when it comes to purchases and vendors selection. Bring along your bridesmaids, your mom and your groom at have a fun day out at Insights! 

Give us a hint at some of the highlights.

  •       Speed Planning – Step up for a free consultation from a certified wedding planner! Similar to Speed Dating, our Speed Planning activity will allow couples to get professional advice from an expert in the field. 
  •       Venue Tours – Get up close and personal with Port Saint John during a tour of the Diamond Jubilee Cruise Terminal. 
  •       Guest Speakers – Danielle and Tracey from The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada will be at the event giving their best wedding planning tips and tricks!
  •       Prizes – We are giving away thousands of dollars worth of prizes, including one grand prize wedding package valued at over $6,000!
  •       Fashion Show – We will be featuring some hot outfits for the whole wedding party on the runway! The best part of the show is that all of the dresses and gowns you see on the runway will be available for sale at the event! Almost all of the wedding gowns for sale are under $500. There will also be bridesmaids dresses, flower girls and ring bearer outfits, mother of the bride outfits and more.  

How do wedding shows help brides/grooms plan their special day?

      Wedding shows give couples a one stop shopping and wedding planning experience. Wedding planning can be very overwhelming and most couples don’t know where to start. Wedding shows allow couples to meet a ton of wedding vendors and get a lot of planning information all in one day under one roof. On top of that, weddings shows are a great way to try and win prizes and get discounts from vendors. Many exhibitors will be offering special deals to guests at the show! Whether you are newly engaged or have most of your planning done, you won’t want to miss Insights.


Insights: A Wedding Fair

Location: Marco Polo Cruise Terminal, 111 Water Street

Date: September 7, 2014

Time: 12:00pm – 4:00pm


Ever After Event (Wedding Blowout Sale)

Location: Diamond Jubilee Cruise Terminal, 333 Water Street

Date: September 7, 2014

Time: Doors open at 4:00pm


For more information: www.insightsweddingfair.com