August 5, 2009
People and their passion: Mylène Barbeau and cruise shipping
Mylène Barbeau is General Manager of Tourisme Sept-Îles, an organization dedicated to promoting the city and environs. As Sept-Îles is a Cruise the Saint Lawrence port of call, Ms Barbeau was pleased to provide us with destination particulars.
Ms Barbeau, what exactly does your job entail?
Tourisme Sept-Îles is responsible for greeting tourists and promoting the Sept-Îles area. The organization also oversees tourism development in conjunction with international cruise lines. The team at Tourisme Sept-Îles includes five permanent employees and some 20 seasonal staff members during the busy summer months. We do our utmost to promote the attributes of our fair city!
How long have you been working in a position with ties to the cruise industry?
With Tourisme Sept-Îles since October 2007, I have been involved in a number of organizations since the late 1990s. Since January 2009, I have been hard at work on developing the cruise shipping aspect of what we do.
Could you enlighten readers on your background and how it prepared you for this position?
I am a qualified Recreation Technician and have always worked in the organization and management of events and associations.
What fascinates you about your sector of endeavour?
The most interesting aspect of my work lies in liaising with large numbers of individuals from different walks of life, interacting with business contacts and ensuring that initiatives undertaken are both stimulating and rewarding!
What does Sept-Îles have to offer cruise line passengers?
With its industrial base and wide open spaces, Sept-Îles is a city of unusually large proportions. A rich past has forged the current-day traits of this dynamic, welcoming community which is set against a vast, untouched natural backdrop. Just offshore lies the archipelago which gave the city its name. Comprising seven islands which protect the bay from wind and waves, the city ranks as one of the sunniest locations in Québec. Tourists are always pleasantly surprised by the vitality of our city and its festive air come summer!
What developments have been undertaken specifically for cruise ship passengers?
At present, the Port of Sept-Îles is actively working on the construction of a new docking facility which will be ready for fall 2010 arrivals. A number of city attractions are being refurbished to enhance the overall tourist experience, and several new projects are on the drawing board with a view to expanding the diversity of visitor activities.
How many cruise line passengers transit through Sept-Îles?
We welcomed our first cruise ship in May 2009. Passengers were impressed with the welcome they received from the locals and the beauty of the city. Two other ships are expected in October. With the construction of a new cruise ship dock, we intend to expand facilities available to cruise ship passengers. These new installations, combined with positive feedback and marketing efforts by Cruise the Saint Lawrence should help boost the number of passengers and ships stopping in at Sept-Îles in the coming years.
What is your favourite port of call activity?
Our First Nations content is highly prized. Cruise passengers can transfer to a train and make their way by rail to an authentic Innu camp where they are treated to a cultural experience second to none. The beauty of the surrounding countryside and the wide open spaces are both powerful attributes much appreciated by visitors.
What is your favourite local restaurant?
That would be hard to say, given the extensive choice of eateries in Sept-Îles. I am particularly fond of seafood and the city is home to a number of excellent seafood restaurants in and around the old quay. All feature fresh, local catches!
What is your favourite holiday destination?
I love to explore various regions of Québec with my family.
What would your dream cruise be?
I hope, in the very near future, to discover the Mediterranean aboard a cruise ship.
How are you involved with the St Lawrence Cruise Association?
I have been a member of the Board of Directors since the winter of 2009. Through this association, we are able to promote the St Lawrence and spur development at the regional level. It is a great way to raise Québec’s profile as a cruise destination!
See you soon in Sept-Îles!