December 16, 2010
Spotlight on Saguenay!
Saguenay is abuzz with activities throughout the cruise ship season and ever eager to share with visitors a generous selection of prized attributes. It will therefore come as no surprise that Saguenay has earned a number of industry distinctions, including the prestigious Dream World Cruise Destinations award for "Best Port Welcome" in 2009.
This year, some ten or so ships dropped anchor at Saguenay. On October 19th, this burgeoning port of call welcomed its 75 000th passenger since the inception of cruise ship activities in 2006. Jacqueline McKevitt, a passenger aboard the MS Crown Princess, received a special honorary welcome from a long line of actors with roles in the region's famed La Fabuleuse, a highly renowned production relating the story of the history of the Kingdom of the Saguenay. For the occasion, Ms McKevitt and her spouse were treated to a discovery tour of the region in the company of a private guide.
Saguenay’s success follows in the wake of dedicated efforts to promote this magnificent region and its many attributes, as well as work undertaken to enhance port infrastructure which includes a new welcome pavilion for international cruise ship passengers.
With an abundance of attractions, provincial parks and a majestic fjord, Saguenay beat out nearly all other Québec ports of call when it welcomed the first international passenger cruise ship this past spring on April 26th! Two ships stopped in during summer, while the remainder called in during the ever popular fall season.
Attributes of undeniable appeal to international visitors
The port of call at Saguenay will doubtless continue to gain in popularity given the region's wealth of attributes and ever increasing breadth of exposure! Indeed, everyone seems to be talking about the region these days! Residents of the Zoo Sauvage at Saint-Félicien include polar bears and Amur tigers, photos of which circled the globe in early December. A photojournalist from the provincial capital at Québec, Mathieu Bélanger, travelled to Saint Félicien on November 30th on the occasion of the first birthday of the zoo’s two all white polar bear cubs. He had great fun immortalizing them on film as they frolicked about under the close watch of their mother. The photos, subsequently sold to Reuters, quickly made their way around the world with front page coverage in Cambodia, Finland, Liechtenstein and Turkey. Certain species under the threat of extinction continue to command a healthy measure of public curiosity. There are apparently as few as between 400 and 500 Amur tigers left in the wild. Saguenay is therefore justifiably proud of this important drawing card for international visitors. All the more reason to make a trip to the zoo when docking at Saguenay!
Attractions of ever increasing quality!
Many of the region’s premier attractions are enhancing facilities with a view to enriching overall visitor experience. One of these attractions is Val Jalbert Historic Village which is currently in the throes of a comprehensive retrofit. The facility features a true-to-life reproduction of a 1920s company town and offers visitors an opportunity to experience life as it was back in the early 20th century. Readers will be interested to learn that Val Jalbert locals enjoyed both running water and electricity some 25 years previous to communities elsewhere in Québec!
Val Jalbert attractions are numerous and include an all new, spectacular, glassed-in observation platform which looks out over the thundering Ouiatchouan Falls, higher than their famed counterparts at Niagara. A site to behold! Hiking aficionados will relish the range of available trails. Onsite exhibits are designed to provide visitors with an insight into the history of the community. An excursion must on any visit to Saguenay!
Check out the impressive list of excursions offered by cruise lines docking at the Port of Saguenay. Each has been developed to ensure that your visit to Saguenay is a memorable experience!