Medal of Merit Awarded at the 60th Annual ACPA Conference

Canada’s Ports Honour Two Founders in the Tour and Cruise Industries

SAINT JOHN, NB —Today, the Association of Canadian Port Authorities (ACPA) honoured Dennis Campbell, founder of Ambassatours Gray Line & Murphy’s The Cable Wharf and Beth Kelly Hatt, founder of Aquila Tours with the prestigious ACPA Medal of Merit Award at the association’s 60th annual ACPA conference.

The Medal of Merit recognizes outstanding works or service on a national platform by an individual (or individuals), institution, or organization in the port, shipping or maritime fields. ACPA has awarded the Medal of Merit annually since 1975. Port of Saint John president and CEO Jim Quinn presented the awards to Dennis Campbell and Beth Kelly Hatt this afternoon.

Dennis Campbell is the founder of Ambassatours Gray Line, the largest motorcoach water and rail sightseeing tour and charter operator in Atlantic Canada with offices in Saint John NB, Charlottetown PEI, Sydney NS and head office in Halifax NS. Ambassatours has merged with Murphy’s the Cable Wharf and is now growing that company in locations throughout the Maritime provinces. “It is an honour to receive the medal of merit award from the Association of Canada Port Authorities”, said Dennis Campbell, “Our team’s commitment to developing memorable tour products for the cruise industry has been lengthy and innovative, and I am pleased to be recognized with other industry-leading colleagues for this award”.

Beth Kelly Hatt established Aquila Tours in Saint John, NB in 1982 as a seasonal company offering city tours to visitors. Aquila grew quickly and joined the National Tour Association in 1988 and Beth was the first from Atlantic Canada to receive her Certified Tour Professional designation in 1991, the same year she was awarded the region’s Women Entrepreneurship Award. She has since received many awards and official recognitions including being named one of the 25 People to Watch in Atlantic Canada by Progress Magazine in 2006 and one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada by the Woman’s Executive Network and the Richard Ivey School of Business in 2003. “I am honoured to receive the ACPA Medal of Merit. It is amazing to look back and realize the strength of what we can do when we work together”, said Beth Kelly Hatt. “Collaborating with cruise partners throughout Southern New Brunswick enabled Aquila’s service excellence to be recognized and led to our becoming the training partner of the cruise industry. Collaborating with Port Saint John and supporting their unwavering commitment to cruise in the region for the past 30 years has led us to have a world-class cruise destination. We are so grateful for our partners.”

“The cruise sector is one of the most important and expanding segments of the marine industry in Canada with Canadian cruise destinations welcoming over 1.3 million passengers in 2017”, said Wendy Zatylny, President of ACPA, “thanks to innovators and visionaries like Dennis Campbell and Beth Kelly Hatt the sector is forecasted to grow even more in the coming years”.

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About the Association of Canadian Port Authorities

Founded in 1958, the Association of Canadian Port Authorities brings together 18 ports and related marine interests into one national association. As the leading Association for the advocacy and advancement of Canada’s port industry — representing all Canadian Port Authorities, various government entities and companies doing business in the marine sector — ACPA is the champion for Canadian ports in matters related to government policy, trade, competitiveness and public awareness in order to improve sustainable transportation.

ACPA members contribute significantly to the local, regional and national economy of Canada, responsible for nearly a quarter of a million direct and indirect jobs, have donated more than $22 million to their local communities (2010-2014), receive more than 1.3 million cruise ship passengers and contributing over $53 billion in total economic activity.


For more information, please contact:

Mike Pitre
Manager, Communications
Association of Canadian Port Authorities
Cell: (613) 407-7486
Office: (613) 232-2036 x203
Email: [email protected]



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