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March 27, 2009

Port of Québec receives excellence awards

Québec City, March 27, 2009. Last week at Seatrade Cruise Shipping Miami, the Québec Port Authority (QPA) received two excellence awards from Dream World Cruise Destinations magazine for its performance in 2008—“Most Responsive Port” and “Best Destination Experience, Independent.”

As is its custom, Dream World Cruise Destinations conducted an industry-wide survey in 2008 to identify the top-performing ports and destinations in the international cruise market. The “Most Responsive Port” award is given to the port that responds most quickly to inquiries and finds solutions to cruise line requirements and special requests. Among the other 2008 winners are the ports of Barcelona, Spain; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and Stockholm, Sweden.

The “Best Destination Experience, Independent” award is based on a vote by passengers who booked their own land excursions and had the best tourism experience. Other 2008 recipients include Venice, Italy; Sydney, Australia; and Dublin, Ireland. This is the third time that the Port of Québec has been honored with this award. QPA also won the “Best Destination Port (Rest of the World)” award in 2002 for the best port outside the Carribean, Mediterranean, and Northern Europe geographic areas. These awards thus add to the Port of Québec’s outstanding 2008 international cruise season with more than 112,000 passengers and crewmembers welcomed.

After many years of development efforts with international cruise lines, the Port of Québec is pleased to see this recognition, which speaks to Québec City’s growing renown as a must-visit destination on the Canada & New England route. “The Port of Québec has worked hard to develop this market in the face of global competition. We are pleased to have succeeded in positioning Québec City among the most prized destinations in the world,” noted the CEO of the Port of Québec, Ross Gaudreault.

In these more difficult economic times, the Port of Québec is staying cautious for 2009, despite average annual growth in the cruise industry of 7.4% since 1990. “The international cruise industry proved resistant to economic turmoil in the 20th century. We must therefore keep up our sales efforts and promote the message that Québec City is an extraordinary destination with 400 years of rich history and a European appeal found nowhere else,” added Mr. Gaudreault. At the 2009 edition of Seatrade Cruise Shipping Miami last week, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) nevertheless predicted a slight 2.8% increase in passenger traffic in 2009, to 14.5 million.

A number of firsts in 2009 will, however, provide a boost to Québec City, including the inaugural visits of the Queen Victoria, the Norwegian Spirit, and the Princess Danae. Moreover, European line Costa Cruises will sail the St. Lawrence River for the first time with its ship Costa Atlantica. Québec City will play host a total of 71 times to visiting ships this season and is expected to welcome nearly 124,000 passengers and crewmembers. QPA also anticipates twice the number of embarking passengers as the previous year, for a total of 37,000.

The cruise industry brings over $100 million to Québec City annually, with an average per-passenger expenditure of $118 per debarkation. Québec City is a port of call for all cruise ships sailing the St. Lawrence River route, in addition to serving as home harbour to a number of luxury liners.


Patrick Robitaille
Vice President
Marketing and Development
Québec Port Authority
Telephone: 418-648-4956


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