December 19, 2016
Supremely successful 2016 cruise season
December already, the close of yet another year close at hand, and time to look back, report on activities and set goals for the year ahead. Once again, promises of continued growth have been fulfilled, with ever expanding passenger and cruise line interest in Destination Saint Lawrence evident across the network in 2016. Each year, our nine Saint Lawrence ports of call and close partners at Cruise Canada New England Association attract new ships to the region, an indisputable sign of vitality replete with the prospect for ongoing growth.
During this past season, in the period from May 3rd to October 25th, our Québec-based ports of call enjoyed the privilege of welcoming 28 ships from 25 cruise lines, representing a total of 330 ship visits for all ports combined. Passengers and crew totalled 252 000 and 98 000 respectively, with many enjoying an opportunity to spend more than one day in port and partake more fully of visitor amenities on offer.
Anniversaries and new developments in 2016 included Saguenay’s 10th cruise ship season which the port celebrated in grand style, while Havre Saint-Pierre began the year by welcoming two ships on the same day, a first for this port of call. In 2016, Baie-Comeau, Sept-Îles and Trois-Rivières also welcomed two ships into port on the same day for the first time in their respective histories. In addition, Saguenay and Gaspé each enjoyed an inaugural visit by the legendary Queen Mary 2, a regular visitor to the Port of Québec. In the Iles de la Madeleine, authorities initiated a major commercial development project only a stone’s throw from the pier. Owing to cruise terminal retrofit work in 2016, ship greeting operations in Montréal were temporarily moved to a location east of Jacques Cartier Bridge. An all new facility is set to be ready for the inauguration of the 2017 season.
Also, we would be remiss were we not to mention that our port of call at Québec welcomed no fewer than 44 000 passengers and crew during the first week of October. No mean feat!
During the year, several new luxury ships, including the Azamara Quest, Europa 2 and Viking Star, made inaugural visits to our shores.
All told, our nine Saint Lawrence member ports of call continued to post solid growth, gain in maturity and experience, and hone their skills in providing memorable welcomes for passengers and crew.