Town of Shelburne plans for increased marine visitation

News release

Local tourism economy to benefit from marine terminal upgrades for cruise ship, super yacht and watercraft visitors
September 6, 2019 – Shelburne, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Investing in tourism infrastructure is essential to creating jobs, highlighting Canada’s historic communities and contributing to a heightened quality of life in communities across the country. That is why the Government of Canada is helping the Town of Shelburne to strengthen its tourism appeal with upgrades to its marine terminal to help attract new visitors to the area.

Building on the success the 2019 Albacore International Sailing Championships and its reputation as one of the world’s best natural harbours, the Town of Shelburne is undertaking key improvements at its marine terminal to position Shelburne as a choice destination for cruise ship, super yacht and other watercraft visitors. Infrastructure improvements will help to ensure that the terminal can support the development of key visitor and marine-based sectors, diversify the port’s business offerings, increase tourism in the historic town and create well-paying jobs for Canadians.

Today, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Member of Parliament for South Shore – St. Margarets, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Science, Innovation and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), announced Government of Canada support for this project.

This project will build on commitments made by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic Provinces to drive economic growth in the region through the Atlantic Growth Strategy by helping the region’s tourism industry attract more visitors and create new jobs. This approach is in line with the new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy, which will grow and diversify the sector by enhancing and developing unique experiences that attract tourists year-round to all regions of Canada.


Transportation is an intrinsic part of tourism development and making Atlantic Canada a visitor destination of choice. Investing in transportation infrastructure is key to building dynamic communities that highlight the region’s historical importance, while accelerating economic growth and prosperity in the region.

- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie

Modern infrastructure is an essential building block for supporting Canada's tourism competitiveness and the long-term prosperity of Canadians, whether they live in large cities or small communities. Our government is committed to supporting tourism-based initiatives, like this one, that create good jobs, grow Canada’s economy and bring new opportunities to communities looking for a chance to show the world what they have to offer.”

- The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Member of Parliament for South Shore – St. Margarets

"The province is pleased to support these key marine infrastructure enhancements in the historic Town of Shelburne, to help grow both the marine tourism and fisheries sectors for the area and for Nova Scotia. Ensuring the community can maintain essential services for the inshore and offshore commercial fishery, as well as marine service vessels, is important to our reputation as a vibrant coastal province.”

- Hugh MacKay, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Chester-St. Margaret's, on behalf of Minister Geoff MacLellan, Minister of Business  

“The Shelburne Marine Terminal is a key infrastructure priority for the Town and Eastern Shelburne County. Shelburne Harbour is the third-best natural harbour in the world and we support the growth and diversification of employment opportunities through enhancements that improve our ability to attract visitors and business to our area. The Town of Shelburne has determined that opportunities for port growth reside primarily in the marine tourism sector, through cruise ships, super yachts and other sailing vessels. Diversification of the Shelburne Harbour economy is seen as key to increasing the region’s resiliency and overall viability of port operations."

- Karen Mattatall, Mayor, Town of Shelburne

“Today’s investment opens up new opportunities to attract and inspire people to visit Nova Scotia by sea while supporting one of our province’s authentic working waterfronts. We know through our partnership with the Town of Shelburne that the ability to continue to welcome tall ships, cruise visitors, yachts and recreational boaters will help grow the community and region as a premiere marine destination."

- Jennifer Angel, President and CEO, Develop Nova Scotia 

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada is investing $559,742 in this project through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund. The Province of Nova Scotia is also providing $100,000 towards the project through Develop Nova Scotia.

  • Shelburne is identified by the Atlantic Canada Cruise Association, Tourism Nova Scotia and Develop Nova Scotia as one of eight strategic 'niche' ports in the province and is considered as a port suited to welcome smaller cruise ships with fewer passengers, as part of an Atlantic Canadian collaboration effort to attract more cruise visitors.

  • Marine Terminal infrastructure enhancements will include the replacement of the concrete deck, installation of concrete curbs, reinstallation of bollards and more.

  • The Port of Shelburne hosted several cruise ship visits in the past three years and expects at least three more cruise ships in the 2019-2020 season. It has also hosted the Tall Ships Nova Scotia festival, Nova Scotia’s Bluenose II and other local events.

  • The Port is also supports a range of marine operations from commercial inshore and offshore fisheries and marine safety and enforcement, to a growing regional aquaculture sector and cruise ship, super yacht, tall ships and other marine tourism activities.


Lori Selig
A/Communications Director
Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902-266-7477 (cell)

Kelly Rose
Senior Communications Manager
Develop Nova Scotia

Darren Shupe
Chief Administrative Officer
902-319-0737 (cell)

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