Cruise industry worldwide

Navire et famille MTL


Québec Cruises: Facts and figures

  • 9 unique ports of call to discover
  • 400 000 passenger-days logged in 2023
  • $711 million in direct and indirect economic benefits injected into the Québec economy in 2019
  • 5000 jobs in 2019
  • 175 000 overnight stays generated at Montréal and Québec in 2019
  • Extension of the fall travel season
  • Passengers primarily from the United States, Germany and United Kingdom 

Not to mention a wealth of spectacular countryscapes, a colourful diversity of cultures awaiting discovery and the legendary warm, welcoming ways of the Québec people.

A growing international industry

An average year-on-year growth of 6.6% since the 1990s resulted in the industry transporting 30 million passengers in 2019, according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

The industry’s fleet comprises close to 300 ships owned and operated by some sixty cruise lines. 

Cruise industry market share

Cruise industry market share

Multiple destinations in locations across the globe each command a share of the aggregate passenger total of 30 million. Cruise Canada New England, a relatively young destination, accounts for 1.2% of the world market, a percentage to which must be added a portion of transatlantic cruises. The destination continues to grow and cruise lines remain eager to diversify passenger itineraries on offer. For many, Québec and the region as a whole represent something new and exotic with ever expanding appeal over traditional sun destinations.

Cruise Canada New England 

Ships calling into ports across Québec navigate the waters of the broader Canada New England region. Internationally, our destination is known as Cruise Canada New England owing to marine navigation laws that require international vessels to call into port in at least two different countries. Our destination encompasses a vast coastal expanse stretching from New York to Montréal by way of Boston, Maine, Canada’s Atlantic provinces and the French overseas territory of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon.

The Saint Lawrence

Down through time, untold numbers of travellers have sailed the waters of the Saint Lawrence, landed on our shores, explored our wealth of cultural attributes and revelled in the splendour of our countryscapes. Tourism in Québec began with the famed white ships that enabled urban dwellers to escape to outlying regions for the summer and enjoy the great outdoors.

From the 1990s onwards, increasing numbers of international ships regularly navigated the Saint Lawrence, but it was only in 2006 that our destination began to gain in recognition as a result of the development of seven new ports of call.

Québec today enjoys a reputation as a cruise destination of interest owing to the region’s beguiling French flair.

Passengers days evolutions 2023

Growth in traffic on the Saint Lawrence

Since 2006, the nine Saint Lawrence ports of call experienced consitent growth in terms of ship and passenger numbers welcomed to our shores. With 500 000 visits logged in 2019, the industry was flourishing. 

The teams at Cruise the Saint Lawrence and  ports of call members are pround of the cruise restart in 2022. In 2023, we almost reached our 2019 results with 401 021 passenger-days.