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Dal engineer turned cruise director

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Steve-Marchant-feature

He was trained as an engineer at Dalhousie University but he’s now putting his organizational skills to work as a cruise director on Europe’s top riverboat line.

Steve Marchant is a Truro native who came to Halifax after high school and got the hospitality bug while working off his Dal tuition at a restaurant. After graduation, he started travelling in earnest. Twenty-five countries later, with much touring experience under his belt, he started a career as tour director. He worked in the Caribbean and then for Celebrity Cruise Lines for two years. Then, seven years ago, a friend recommended Tauck and Steve has been part of North America’s oldest touring company ever since.MS-Inspire-photo

When Tauck, which has been leading tours since 1925, entered the European-river cruise market in 2006, it hired Marchant as one of its new shipboard tour directors. “We met Marchant on the inaugural cruise of MS Inspire. We were two of 120 guests for this Netherlands and Belgium cruise and Marchant greeted us, as he did everyone, as we boarded in Amsterdam. When we introduced ourselves as being from Nova Scotia he did a double take and said with a big grin, “Well, so am I. Welcome aboard.”

As we learned over the next nine days, Steve’s personality is a perfect fit for his job, which includes planning itineraries at each stop and brief guests on what to expect. One emotional tour he planned for us was to the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp, Belgium. This is the “other end” of Pier 21 in Halifax, where, from 1873 to 1935, two million Europeans started their long Atlantic journey to Nova Scotia.

After three months on the job, Marchant gets a two- or three-week vacation, and makes that trip home to Halifax. “Absolutely,” he said. “My parents and my sister are still in Nova Scotia and it’s important to return to my roots every chance I get.”

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