CRUISE POSSIBILITIES EXPANDING
Expedition company coming to Sydney
Expedition cruise company coming to Sydney.
With the opening of a second berth at the port of Sydney, it will become the home port for an expedition cruise company, its managing director says.
Sydney is situated perfectly to be a gateway for the business, Andrew Prossin of One Ocean Expeditions said in an interview Friday.
The Westmount native was one of the speakers at this week’s Port Days in Sydney. Prossin says the company has been building its cruise operation in Cape Breton and has five cruises currently scheduled to start or end in Cape Breton, mostly departing from Louisbourg and also visiting communities such as Englishtown, Inverness and Ingonish.
One Ocean also has port calls where they do planning for Arctic and Antarctic operations, where the ships come into port twice a year to spend a handful of days preparing to be at sea or in remote ports for extended periods of time. Prossin estimated the company spent about $5 million in Halifax last year that they are looking to move to Sydney.
“We fill the storage rooms and refrigerators with food and fill the fuel tanks with fuel and buy supplies and tools and blankets and televisions and whatever it is we need and get minor repairs done,” Prossin said.
“It’s one to come here and bring some tourists and have them come off and buy some sandwiches and t-shirts and stuff and do the tours, but it’s quite another thing to do all that logistics preparation … that’s where you’re going to see real spinoff effects,” he said.
One Ocean’s fleet is growing, Prossin said, adding they are currently in discussions about acquiring some new vessels.
The company has been considering Sydney for a few years, but the addition of a second port berth is what is really allowing for the shift, he said. He said he believes there is an emerging expedition cruise industry running vessels northward that will also be looking at Sydney.
“It’s slated to have fuel and water, et cetera, et cetera, and that’s really the critical thing, you need to be able to take fuel while tied at the dock,” Prossin said.
On the expedition cruise side, they are planning to launch a golf cruise calling at the island’s major golf attractions including Highlands Links, Cabot Cliffs and Cabot Links. Prossin said he doesn’t think expedition golfing has been done before.
“We’ve got tremendous interest in that from all over the world,” he said.
They plan to take that concept to other areas.
One Ocean employs more than 30 people full time, with offices in Squamish, B.C., London, English and Sydney, Australia. Its polar expedition vessels were involved in the discovery of HMS Erebis in 2014.
Prossin said his company is the only cruise operator to start and end voyages in Cape Breton and have fully domestic cruises. He said they focus on buying Canadian where possible.
One Ocean Expeditions’ east coast cruises begin July 1 in Louisbourg.
This is one of the vessels owned by One Ocean Expeditions. The company’s general manager said they intend to make Sydney their home port once the second port berth is completed.