The thing about Halifax Harbour is there’s almost too much of it. Unless you have a boat. But not just any boat.
“I’m thinking about a high-speed catamaran,” muses hometown tourism entrepreneur Dennis Campbell, who sold his Ambassatours’ bus operation to his nearest competitor in September. “That would be cool.”
He already owns six touring vessels moored along the waterfront, including a Mississippi-style paddle wheeler. None of them are particularly swift and that’s a problem. “The future of tourism here is in the harbour,” he says. “The cruise-ship business is booming. Fisherman’s Cove is getting upgraded. McNabs and Georges islands are in for major work. TripAdvisor says we’re number four on its list of top 10 growing travel destinations in the world.”
To jump on these opportunities, Campbell wants to ferry more people to more places, where they can eat more food and buy more stuff, as fast as the watercraft speed limit permits. Specifically, “I need a boat that can carry 200 from downtown Halifax to the harbour islands or Eastern Passage in 20 minutes.”
And so, in January, he’s going to see a man in Australia, who makes “a really beautiful product, a real world-class power cat composed of aluminum.”
He doesn’t know what something like that would cost, but another “really beautiful product” recently listed for $1.76 million US. Says Campbell: “I might buy used, or even lease… That would also be cool.”