Cape Breton's newest golf course has helped to attract a luxury golf-themed cruise ship to the island. A high-end golf touring company is launching its first tour of the Maritimes in September. North Carolina-based Kalos Golf operates luxury cruises and jet tours to golf destinations around the world.
Marketing vice president Casey Oliver said there's been growing interest in Cape Breton in recent years. Cabot Cliffs attracting attention "We knew about Cabot Links of course, because it had gotten such great reviews," he said. "As soon as it opened, it was in the top 25 courses in the world, so it's obviously a beautiful site. And folks who travel with us have wanted to go there." Cruise passengers will spend two days playing the two Cabot courses in Inverness, and a day at Highlands Links in Ingonish. Cape Breton's Cabot Cliffs named best new golf course in North America.
The expedition ship carrying 120 passengers will also make stops in Halifax, St. John's, Charlottetown and St. Andrews, N.B. Golfers' dream cruise, starting at $10,788 per person. Oliver says most of the passengers booked on the tour are from the United States. Andrew Alkenbrack is general manager at Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs. "In terms of destination golf, I think that it's certainly an honour for us to have them here," he said. "To have Kalos cite us as one of the great golf destinations, and a high-end golf destination at that, is certainly a feather in our caps." Cabot Cliffs opened for preview play last July.
Alkenbrack says the media attention and word of mouth that followed has golfers flocking to Cabot in record numbers, so much so that, by January, the resort's 108 beds were at 96 per cent occupancy for the season. That's compared to about 30 per cent occupancy the previous January. "I think having two world top 100 golf courses, that really is the catalyst for the tremendous amount of growth we've seen," he said. Cabot Links is currently rated number 93 on Golf Digest's list of top 100 courses. Cabot Cliffs, which has its official grand opening on June 8, debuted at number 19. Meanwhile, Oliver said Kalos Golf has already sold out its second Canadian Maritimes tour in 2017.
Cabot Cliffs is praised by golf writers as much for its scenery as for the course itself. (Cabot Cliffs).