New London

New London Welcomes Cruise Ship for First Time in 4 Years

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New London has welcomed back cruise ship passengers for the first time in four years. The cruise ship, Ocean Navigator, docked at City Pier Monday morning to let off around 90 visitors.

The stop in New London is one of many for the 17-day cruise, which started in Savannah, Georgia and will travel to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

New London officials said the nearly 90 visitors and 77 crew members will be in the city for a one-day stay and they would be offered shore-side excursions in the morning and afternoon and would have time in port for self-guided tours of the city.

New London Landmarks led the passengers on a driving tour of the city. 

"We are going to see a number of spots that have to do with New London's history, starting with the Native Americans and then basically ending with the new construction of submarines in New London," said Don Presley, of New London Landmarks.

New London Mayor Michael Passero urged residents and business owners to greet the Ocean Navigator passengers with a warm welcome.

"We love hosting new people visiting the city. This is an authentic 400-year-old seaport and we want more people to come and see it," Passero said.

Barbara Chaconas, of California, was on the ship and said they were looking forward to learning some history and seeing New London. 

Each passenger was given a stack of brochures and local menus and businesses had signs posted in storefront windows to give visitors a warm welcome. 

The mayor said these visits give a good boost to the local economy and he is hoping to see cruises stop here more often. 

"It's great that they are barely climbing out of this pandemic and they are stopping in New London already. It's signs of good things to come," Passero said.

After New London, the ship heads to Newport, Rhode Island.

New London officials said the city also will host passengers on the Ocean Navigator's sister ship, the "Ocean Voyager," on April 21 for a similar port call.

The last cruise ship to stop in the Port of New London was the 298-foot Hebridean Sky of the Noble Caledonia Lines in May 2018.

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