Update, 5 p.m. EDT: Although Canada is on the upswing, Costa has decided not to return to the region next year, according to Cruise-Community.com. Costa spokeswoman Dana Dominici cites high demand in Europe, where the ship will sail after the conclusion of this year's season. Fellow European line Fred. Olsen may also pull out of the region, due to more stringent environmental regulations. We'll keep you updated as more information becomes available. Interestingly, Costa's Italian competitor, MSC Cruises, will sail its first season in the region this year.
(June 15, 5:30 p.m. EDT) -- Canada and New England cruises are on the rise, eh?
The cruise region -- no longer just a fall foliage spot, offering nature hikes, family-friendly bike trips and more -- is gearing up for what will likely be its busiest season ever with an increase in port calls, particularly in Maine, Massachusetts and the Canadian Maritimes.
According to ABC News, Maine will receive 54 more port calls in 2010 than it did in 2009, Newfoundland will see 84 more calls than last year, and more than 300,000 cruise passengers are due to visit Boston by year's end.
In the ship department, of particular note is the fact that Carnival has deployed 2,974-passenger Carnival Glory there this year -- the line's largest ship in the region to date.
Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen cites homeporting as a reason for the region's surge in popularity in recent years. In a statement from the line, Lynn Torrent, Carnival's senior vice president of sales and guest services, says "these itineraries have proven exceptionally popular among consumers seeking... [the] history and beauty of these scenic ports...."
Other major lines that sail Canada and New England itineraries include Princess, Holland America, NCL, Royal Caribbean and Carnival, calling in ports like Portland and Bar Harbor in Maine; Boston; Montreal; and St. John, New Brunswick.
--by Ashley Kosciolek, Copy Editor