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Arrival of Grand Princess kicking off tourist season with a bang

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The Victoria Day weekend is the kick-off to tourism season, and in Nanaimo it’s coming in like a lion.

Empire Days, with the parade and fireworks, always brings in lots of visitors.  The long weekend is also going to see one of only two big cruise ships scheduled to visit the city this year.

Lesley Anderson of Tourism Nanaimo, says the visit from the Grand Princess isn’t a typical cruise ship stop.  It’s an extended visit. The ship will be docking at 10:00am and leaving at midnight. She says while they’ll only be here for a day, the impact of the 2,400 passengers will be sizable.

Bernie Dumas of the Nanaimo Port Authority says, “This will be the longest cruise ship stay on our berth. We are delighted to see the Princess line return to Nanaimo after their last visit in 2012.”

The Empire Days Celebration begins Friday. The parade is Sunday at 1:00pm and there will be fireworks that night along the waterfront.

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The tourist season is getting off to a busy start on the Sunshine Coast as well, with the annual May Day celebration in Pender Harbour on Saturday.    Hundreds of visitors are also expected to take in the “Attack of Danger Bay” longboard races, and the Roberts Creek Arts Festival.

For a full list of what’s going on in the region this weekend check out our Coast Connection page.

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