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December 9, 2014
Growth unchecked on the Saint Lawrence
As we head into December, let us glance back at the 2014 cruise season which officially closed just one month ago. Final figures are still being tallied but initial findings point to good news all round.
This past season, the longest in our history, stretched from early May to mid-November... an all time record! A total of more than 355 000 passengers and crew stopped in at our nine Saint Lawrence ports of call, representing a 19% increase over the previous season. Cruise ship visits to member ports of call totalled just shy of 350, the highest sustained level of cruise ship traffic ever posted for a given season. Together, these numbers confirm beyond a doubt that development efforts initiated in 2008 have begun to pay handsome dividends. Indeed, the volume of passenger traffic on the Saint Lawrence doubled in the period from 2008 to 2014.
That said, the upcoming season appears ripe with promise. Some 400 000 passengers and crew are expected to visit our nine ports of call, guaranteeing growth of 11% for 2015. We therefore look forward to the coming year with a mix of pride and enthusiasm as we begin planning for the arrival of the first ships next May. The year 2015 will herald the return of each of The World, Black Watch, Albatros and Saga Sapphire, as well as inaugural visits by the Marina and Insignia. Destination Saint Lawrence continues to gain momentum and pique the interest of passengers in search of new, one-of-a-kind, authentic destinations. With cruise passengers having totalled more than 1.3 million over the past seven years, we can rightfully lay claim to an equal number of new ambassadors poised to promote destination attributes across their personal networks of contacts.
Then there is the impressive number of travel agents who advise their clients respecting cruise destinations and programs. We wish to thank each and every one of them for their invaluable cooperation and for promoting so eloquently our Québec-based offerings. No wonder the excitement begins to mount when we look ahead to the 2015 cruise season!