Port of Toronto Kicks Off 2023 Cruise Ship Season

TORONTO (May 1, 2023) – PortsToronto welcomed its first cruise ship of the 2023 season on Friday, April 28. The Viking Octantis officially launched another record-breaking cruise ship season which will see 54 ships visit Canada’s largest city between May and October, bringing more than 22,000 passengers to enjoy all Toronto has to offer.

Toronto, a world-class city located on the shores of Lake Ontario, has become a popular Great Lakes cruising destination. As one of the key ports of call, passengers aboard this and other cruise ships will remain in Toronto for one to three days and support the local economy by enjoying restaurants, attractions and shopping while in the city.

In addition to supporting local tourism, entertainment and hospitality sectors, cruising is moving international travellers and their spending into the far reaches of the Great Lakes and into smaller towns and ports in Northern Ontario – investment worth celebrating. According to Cruise the Great Lakes, an initiative led by the Conference of Great Lakes Governors and Premiers, cruising in the Great Lakes generated an economic value of over $120 million USD to the region’s ports and communities in 2022[1].
PortsToronto welcomes the Viking Octantis, the first of 54 cruise ships expected to call at the Port of Toronto between May and October 2023.

“The Port of Toronto is a popular urban jumping off point for cruising adventures throughout the Great Lakes. From the cruise ship terminal, passengers are a quick five-kilometre drive to downtown, which has the shopping, theatre, sporting events and restaurants you would expect in a world-class city,” said RJ Steenstra, President and CEO, PortsToronto.

“With the growing trend of ‘exploration cruising’, the Great Lakes cruising sector has seen a steady increase in both the number of ships as well as the number of passengers choosing to visit our region, and we expect to see this growth continue.”

About Cruise Industry in Toronto
The Port of Toronto offers a unique and popular urban experience for the thousands of travellers who will be making their way through the Great Lakes this season, boosting Toronto’s tourism, entertainment and hospitality industries. A gateway to Canada's largest city, the Port of Toronto is a turnaround port, allowing Toronto to host arriving and departing cruise ship passengers for several days as they enjoy the many accommodations, restaurants and attractions the city has to offer.

To view the Port of Toronto Cruise Ship Terminal’s full 2023 schedule, click here.

About PortsToronto
For more than 100 years PortsToronto has worked with its partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to enhance the economic growth of the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. PortsToronto owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which welcomed approximately 2.8 million passengers in 2019; the Outer Harbour Marina, one of Canada's largest freshwater marinas; and the marine Port of Toronto that includes businesses in a variety of sectors including marine shipping, cargo services, media production and passenger cruises. PortsToronto is committed to fostering strong, healthy and sustainable communities and has invested more than $14 million since 2009 in charitable initiatives and environmental programs that benefit communities along Toronto's waterfront and beyond. PortsToronto operates in accordance with the Canada Marine Act and is guided by a board with representation from all three levels of government.
Media Contact:
Jessica Pellerin
Manager, Media Relations and Public Affairs
Cell: (647) 298-0585
E-mail: jpellerin@portstoronto.com
[1] Record-Breaking Year for Great Lakes Cruising, Cruise the Great Lakes, June 2022.