July 16, 2009
A fine Islands welcome for the Maasdam
On July 27, the Maasdam, a Holland America Lines cruise
ship carrying 1,700 crew and passengers, will be visiting the Îles de
la Madeleine. The ship will drop anchor in Plaisance Bay at 9 a.m.
The first shuttles will be landing passengers on the dock at
Cap-aux-Meules at approximately 10 a.m. The Maasdam will weigh anchor
and depart at 6 p.m.
A number of activities have been organized for that day to show off
the archipelago to the passengers who choose to land here. Some of the
passengers will undoubtedly explore the port and the town of
Cap-aux-Meules on their own. In future, the new Îles-de-la-Madeleine
Development Corporation will be coordinating facilities for hosting
cruise ships and providing free shuttle transportation for visitors to
various services in Cap-aux-Meules and as far as La Côte in
"We hope that the Maasdam is only the first of a
long series of cruise ships that will be stopping in the Islands"
declares Joël Arseneau, president of the Îles-de-la-Madeleine
Development Corporation, , "The cruise product will strengthen the
tourist industry, which is the second most important driver of economic
activity on the Islands. Our management of the Maasdam's visit on July
27 will be a good test for us and the industry, and we are counting on
everyone's cooperation to make this experiment a resounding success."
This exercise fits in with the objectives set out in the overall
policy for tourist development as well as the priorities established
under the ACCORD program (Action concertée de coopération régionale de
To avoid traffic problems in the port at Cap-aux-Meules as well as
on the water, the Development Corporation will be assisted by the
Québec Provincial Police, the Coast Card and Fisheries and Oceans
Canada. The SQ (provincial police) will control traffic at peak periods
at the intersection of Principal Street and the port access road, when
buses are leaving and returning to the Cap-aux- Meules docks. To help
limit traffic around the port during the day, people who want to get a
good look at the ship are asked to do so from other excellent
observation points such as the parc de L'Échouerie in Gros-Cap, the
lookout at la Butte in Cap-aux-Meules, along the Cap-aux-Meules cycle
path), from la Butte du Vent and the Butte du Marconi.
Pleasure boaters who would like to get close to the Maasdam are
advised that they must remain outside a 150-foot radius from the ship.
The Coast Guard, Fisheries and Oceans and the provincial police will be
on the water to keep an eye on boat traffic.
The Magdalen Archipelago is the ship's first stop after Boston. For
more information about the Maasdam's itinerary or the cruise industry
in general, we suggest you visit the Cruise the Saint Lawrence website
at http://www.cruisesaintlawrence.com/en/index.aspx .
For more information, please contact : Joël Arseneau, Mayor and
President of the Islands Development Corporation ( Corporation de
développement des Îles-de-la-Madeleine). (418) 986-3100, extension 222
Agente de développement
CLD des Îles
(428) 986-2225, poste 231