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December 13, 2017
Exceptionally positive results for 2017!
With the 2017 cruise season drawing to a close, Cruise the Saint Lawrence and our nine member ports of call delight in reporting yearly results in excess of expectations. Our ports of call proudly posted a total of 377 ship visits, representing 311 000 passengers and 125 000 crew members. Total visitors in 2017 therefore rose to just over 436 000, a figure almost 25% greater than that of the year previous.
For over ten years now, ship and passenger numbers have increased consistently from one year to the next. What is more, industry trends combined with the large number of ships currently under construction lead us to believe that growth will continue in the years ahead. Our challenge will therefore be to enhance the market share of the Canada/New England region which currently stands at just over one per cent of the world market. We are confident in our ability to impact the market positively through a combination of marketing efforts, infrastructure availability in the summer months and, more especially, the quality of passenger greeting operations in each of our ports of call. We also believe beyond a doubt that the ambassadors best poised to enhance destination exposure are passengers who depart happy and satisfied.
Despite the highly positive results of the 2017 season, some ports of call suffered cancellations in August owing to reduced navigation speeds imposed in certain areas of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. Indeed, a number of North Atlantic right whales were found dead in areas not generally frequented by them. It would appear that the quantity of available food led the right whales to modify their movements in and around the gulf area. As this particular species is under threat, the Government of Canada had no choice but to impose strict measures applying to all passenger, merchant and fishing vessels. Owing to reduced operating speeds, cruise lines had to intervene quickly and adjust itineraries as required. Gaspé bore the brunt of a dozen or so cancellations whereas other ports had to scramble to accommodate unplanned last minute visits.
Cruise the Saint Lawrence continues to monitor the situation closely with government officials in an effort to find alternatives to speed reduction while ensuring requisite protection for the North Atlantic right whales. To learn more about this protected species, we invite you to consult the following links Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Whales Online, GREMM.