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NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — The Dawn Princess pulls into port in New London.
It’s been a few years since a ship her size has stopped in the whaling city. The 864 foot cruise ship arrived with 2,000 passengers and more than 900 crew members on board. Many of them got on buses to head to downtown New London, the Coast Guard Academy as well as Mystic and the Essex Steam Train.
The passengers began their global travels in Sydney, Australia on May 18. They’ve been to India, the Greek Islands, Italy, Spain, and now New London. Passenger Bette Martyn from Australia says, “We like the small ports and we haven’t been here before which is quite exciting.” She is taking the shuttle to Mystic and plans to grab lunch.
She asks, “We hear the lobster’s wonderful here too. Am I right?” She is absolutely right.
In downtown New London, Thames River Greenery welcomed Dawn Princess passengers with a wine tasting. Owner Charlotte Hennegan says “They’re coming in right now it’s great. No they’ll walk around they’ll walk all over the city.”
A boost for many businesses as these folks from half a world away spend the day and more in southeastern Connecticut. George Cassidy with the Connecticut Cruise Ship Task Force quoted a past cruise line that came in – Holland America – in saying, “Each person that comes off the ship spends about $150.”
He would like to see a ship come in once a month. New London has a deep water port and merchants happy host those who come ashore. Charlotte Hennegan says, “I couldn’t put an actual percentage on it. I think we do more business than normal but my mind just works toward the future. I just want to see more and more.”
The Dawn Princess is scheduled to leave New London at 7 tonight.