July 24, 2017
Feverish excitement surrounds scheduled advent of Disney Magic to Destination Saint Lawrence
On May 11th, Disney Cruises announced the addition of an inaugural New York to Québec sailing in September 2018. The Disney Magic, which can accommodate up to 2700 passengers and over 900 crew members, is set to sail the waters of the Saint Lawrence, stopping in at Baie-Comeau, Saguenay and Québec. All three ports of call plan to introduce new shoreside adventure tours in an effort to guarantee Disney Magic guests onshore experiences second to none.
The announcement has spawned an exhilarating wave of pride across the region. Indeed, the entirety of Destination Canada New England stands to benefit from this important development. Given the magnitude of Disney brand notoriety and renown for quality service offering, member ports of call have welcomed the news as a stamp of approval for the destination as a whole.
Cruise the Saint Lawrence and member ports of call have been working behind the scenes for a number of years in an effort of finetune destination offerings and welcome the likes of Disney ships to our shores.
The Saint Lawrence ports of call, still young and relatively new to the international network of cruise ports, have nonetheless distinguished themselves in recent years through remarkable ongoing growth and recurring successes. Several have merited prestigious awards. Saguenay was honoured for providing the best welcome in the world, and Québec recognized time and again for excellence of the local destination experience.
The advent of Disney to the Saint Lawrence is certain to be felt at a number of different levels. Undisputed cruise industry leader, Disney is poised to impact the choices made by other cruise lines when developing new itineraries. Although Disney appeals to individuals of all ages, their arrival in our midst positions the Saint Lawrence as a family destination replete with a product offering tailored to the needs of young travellers. Additionally, Disney is known for providing passengers with high quality adventures at each port of call and for favouring activities developed exclusively for their passenger groups. Preparations upstream of the arrival of Disney passengers will enable our member ports to develop and enhance the local tourism supply to meet the standards of quality demanded by Disney, thereby expanding our overall destination offering for tourists throughout the season.
The Disney announcement has had a tremendous impact on those local communities which, some ten years ago, agreed to invest in the development of cruise ship passenger greeting infrastructure. Since May, a mix of pride and belonging infused with optimism has buoyed sentiment across Destination Saint Lawrence, in particular at Baie-Comeau and Saguenay which view the news as substantiating their decision - obviously the right one! - taken ten years ago to diversify their local economy and develop international cruise port facilities. The news has most certainly solidified support extended to port of call managers. New training tools are to be placed at the disposal of greeting personnel by tourism associations to help our member ports provide the best welcome in the world. Several offers of cooperation have also emerged in recent weeks, while others have strengthened as a result of the news.
Other cruise lines, already present and active on the Saint Lawrence, will also benefit from the advent of Disney. Indeed, Disney will generate a wave of interest in Destination Saint Lawrence certain to boost sales with the regular customers of other cruise lines. Curiosity surrounding the new itinerary will also lead to enhanced demand for the destination as a whole.
Infatuation with Disney will further delight cruise ship watchers certain to seize the occasion next season to come and admire the Disney Magic in port at Québec, Saguenay or Baie-Comeau. Like them, we are especially eager to catch a glimpse of the first Disney ship to travel to our shores!