On June 8th, 2022, Port Saint John opened its first interpretation centre called the Port Pod in the AREA506 Container Village, where locals and cruise passengers could visit to learn about the port and port operations. The Port Pod opens in May/June and closes for the season in November of every year. In 2022, the Port Pod staff engaged with an average of 74 visitors daily, with increased traffic whenever we had cruise ships in town.
We hosted several community events in the Port Pod for children and adults as part of our community engagement and education initiatives. We had port-themed activities for kids to help them understand what a port does and what it means to be a port city. We received and honored several requests from summer camp groups who wanted to include a visit to the Port Pod as part of their summer camp activities.
Every day, we randomly surveyed the Port Pod visitors (local and cruise passengers) and below are the top three answers to what they learned during their visit to the Port Pod:
- They learned that Saint John has the highest tides in the world and understood how the tides affect the movement of ships in and out of the Port.
- They learned about the impact of Port Saint John’s cruise operations on the economy.
- They learned about the Port’s used marine rope collection initiative and our sustainability and decarbonization efforts.
Although our first year of operations, the Port Pod was well received by both locals and visitors and at the end of the session, we received feedback that the centre helped Saint John residents and visitors better understand the Port and get answers to their inquiries. The Port Pod will continue to operate from May to November every year.