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Katelyn Price is the owner of Juniper in uptown Saint John. Image: Brad Perry

Saint John businesses prepare for cruise ship season

By Brad Perry May 7, 2024 | 3:32 PM

Uptown Saint John businesses are preparing for another busy cruise ship season.

The first ship of the year will arrive on Wednesday morning with up to 4,500 passengers.

Katelyn Price is the owner of Juniper, a sustainable lifestyle store on Prince William Street.

Price said seeing the first cruise ship passengers is always an exciting time of the year.

“I try to get in small things that are easy for cruise ship passengers to pick up and take as souvenirs, so things like locally-made soap and candles and postcards,” said Price.

“Also that they have some options that will remind them of New Brunswick when they get back home.”

It is a similar story over at Handworks Gallery on King Street, where excitement is also building.

Elizabeth Cook is the president of Handworks Gallery in uptown Saint John. Image: Submitted

President Elizabeth Cook said she saw more locals than visitors coming to her shop during the height of COVID.

“But as they are now able to travel freely again, it really means we have to subsidize that population with people coming to visit us and spend their dollars here,” said Cook.

Cook added she researches where the ships are coming from and where they are headed to give passengers the most unique experience possible.

Meanwhile, Price said the influx of visitors each year helps to add a vibrancy to the city.

“They might make purchases, but that’s not even what we look forward to the most. The most important thing with the cruise ships coming in, I think, is just to have that opportunity to show off Saint John.”

A total of 76 cruise ship visits are scheduled this year, according to Port Saint John, with the final ship due on Nov. 4.