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Company says Nova Scotia tour merger forms largest sightseeing company in Canada

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's Ambassatours Gray Line said Wednesday it acquired the Halifax-based Murphy's The Cable Wharf to form the largest sightseeing company in Canada.

Ambassatours said the merger means it will be able to provide people with more tours on both land and water.

The motorcoach company's CEO Dennis Campbell said Ambassatours is now twice the size that it was and offers more than double the services it did before.

The company will begin looking at expanding the Murphy's water tour services outside the city, he said.

Ambassatours has operations on land in Saint John, N.B., Charlottetown, P.E.I., and Sydney, N.S., "but all of those areas offer great opportunity for us to expand the Murphy's products," said Campbell of the coastal cities in the Maritimes.

Under the Ambassatours umbrella, Murphy's tour boats, restaurant and gift shops will continue to operate under their respective brands from the historic Halifax waterfront.

Murphy's CEO Jeff Farwell said for the rest of the tourism season, the two companies will begin cross-promoting their services.

"We're able to develop new products and offerings with some of the stuff we do," said Farwell, adding the deal has been in the works for about eight months.

"We're going to see a lot of that come to fruition this year, but next year, when we have the full winter to plan it, we'll be doing a lot more for sure."

Campbell said that includes expanding Murphy's popular Harbour Hopper tour, which sees an amphibious vehicle tour Halifax on both water and land. Farwell added that the company is looking at selling the vehicles to places around the world.

Farwell will now serve as president of Ambassatours Gray Line, while Campbell will take on the role of CEO.

Ambassatours provides charter bus services across Canada and throughout the United States, operating a fleet of about 70 highway coaches, mini-buses, motorcoaches and novelty double-decker buses.

Murphy's operates a number of water-based tours in Halifax, including two sailing vessels, Theodore Tugboat and the Harbour Hopper.

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