St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador Visitor Programs

Receive a vibrant, friendly welcome when you put to port in the City of Legends. 19th Century soldiers, cannon fire, and welcome flags greet cruise ships entering the harbour, and ambassadors and honourable ceremonies await on land.

Dockside Welcome - Provided for all in-transit port calls, beginning as cruise visitors leave their ship to set foot in the City of Legends. Visitors are greeted with the harmonious sounds of award winning entertainers such as Signal Hill Tattoo Fifers, one of our famous Newfoundland Dogs, Labrador Retrievers, Ambassadors and members of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Mounted Unit.

Signal Flags of Welcome - Cruise Visitors will notice Signal Flags with a message of welcome flying at the Cabot Tower, Signal Hill National Historic Site throughout the day. Cabot Tower is located at the top of Signal Hill and can be seen at ship's right when the harbour.

Farewell Salute - When most cruise ships leave port, costumed soldiers outfitted in 1850's attire can be seen by cruise visitors as the ship sails past the Queen's Battery at the base of Signal Hill National Historic Site. These soldiers fire three shots from muskets as the ship leaves the harbour as a farewell salute to the ship and cruise guests.

Visitor Information - Visitors seeking tourist information are assisted by friendly staff in a tourist information kiosk on-board cruise ships, subject to cruise line approval. A Visitor Information Office located at 348 Water Street, just a short walk from cruise ship docking facilities, is open daily throughout the cruise season.

Ambassador Program - St. John's Ambassadors, a group comprised of local knowledgeable volunteers, are on hand at dockside and throughout the downtown area to meet and greet cruise visitors, answer questions and provide any other general assistance requested of them. This program is supported by the City of St. John's Downtown Development Commission and the St. John's Port Authority.

Special Events - Cruise St. John's mounts commemorative ceremonies for cruise ship visits that mark a historic occasion such as inaugural visits to the port city and maiden voyages to North America. These ceremonies range from traditional Newfoundland entertainment, to the world famous Harbour Symphony, to the time honoured Freedom of the Seaport Ceremony.

The Freedom of the Seaport Ceremony originated more than 500 years ago when St. John's welcomed explorers, sailors, pirates and fishing admirals to its seaport. During this ceremony the Mayor of St. John's confers the Freedom of the Seaport upon the ship's Captain, which is symbolic of the justice and control of the City being bestowed upon the first Fishing Admiral to enter the Narrows for the fishing season. The Signal Hill Tattoo often plays an integral role in this ceremony with its colour, pageantry, military drills and cannon firings.

St. John's is renowned for the International Sound Symposium and its signature piece, the Harbour Symphony. The Harbour Symphony is a fabulous piece of music written exclusively for the horns of the ships in St. John's Harbour. After a successful day in port, cruise visitors are often treated to the musical fanfare of the Harbour Symphony as melodious tunes echo in the harbour and fill the air with a sense of pride as cruise ships depart from the oldest city in North America.