December 8, 2014
International cruise sector : Record year for Destination Saint Lawrence!
Rimouski, December 8th 2014. On November 12th, the most successful international cruise season on the Saint Lawrence drew to a close with the departure of the Hamburg from the Port of Québec. Indeed, Destination Saint Lawrence this year welcomed over 261 000 cruise ship passengers and 94 000 crew members, an outstanding 20% jump over 2013. In total, 27 different ships made 348 stopovers in ports of call along the Saint Lawrence during the period from May to November 2014.
"Back in 2008, Destination Saint Lawrence welcomed 127 000 international cruise passengers, a volume which stands in stark contrast to the 2014 figure of more than double that number. Bookings in hand point to continued growth in 2015 and 2016, and we anticipate surpassing the half million mark by about 2020," underscored Tony Boemi, President of Cruise the Saint Lawrence and Vice President, Growth and Development with the Port of Montréal.
Since 2008, over $180 million has been invested to provide for the development of new ports of call and the institution of a targeted strategy with international cruise lines. As a result, Destination Saint Lawrence now includes nine (9) ports of call designed and poised to handle cruise ship traffic, namely Montréal, Trois-Rivières, Québec, Saguenay, Baie-Comeau, Sept-Îles, Havre-Saint-Pierre, Gaspésie and Îles de la Madeleine.
The success of Destination Saint Lawrence will require ongoing investment in the years ahead if we are to be able to manage peak season traffic and ensure the provision of quality services. For example, on October 3rd of this year, the Port of Québec simultaneously welcomed 6 ships and over 20 000 passengers and crew into port on a single day. The greeting of such an important contingent of visitors required the implementation of a number of exceptional measures. Current port infrastructure development and greeting projects for both Montréal and Québec, our destination's primary ports of embarkation and disembarkation, are key to assuring that Destination Saint Lawrence keeps pace with anticipated growth.
International cruiseshipping on the Saint Lawrence generates economic benefits of some $285 million and sustains the creation of 2200 direct and indirect jobs. (BREA 2012)
About Cruise the Saint Lawrence
Cruise the Saint Lawrence (CSL) is an association which groups together partners involved in the development and promotion of the Saint Lawrence River. CSL receives financial support from Economic Development Canada, Tourism Québec and industry partners. The mission of the organization is to position Destination Saint Lawrence with cruise companies by defining and coordinating development efforts and partner/port of call attributes, the ultimate aim being to build a genuine ‘Cruise the Saint Lawrence’ brand.
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