International cruise season cancelled

May 29, 2020

Rimouski, May 29th 2020.  Today, Honourable Marc Garneau, federal Minister of Transport, announced an updated series of measures pertaining to cruise ships and passenger vessels operating in the country’s territorial waters. Under these new measures, which have resulted in the cancellation of the entire 2020 international cruise season in Québec, cruise ships with overnight accommodations capable of transporting 100 persons or more have been prohibited from operating in Canadian waters through to October 31st 2020. The move comes as a blow to the cruise industry which contributes handsomely to the growth and prosperity of hundreds of businesses in eight different tourism regions spread out across the province. 

Tony Boemi, president of Cruise the Saint Lawrence, indicated that the announcement would unquestionably impact all nine Cruise the Saint Lawrence member ports of call. “The 2020 season had been shaping up to be the best of the past decade. Over the years, numerous tourism-based businesses have developed alongside or as a result of cruise industry activities, leading to the creation of thousands of jobs and contributing substantially to economic growth in multiple towns, cities and regions. We appeal to the government to help these businesses traverse the crisis at hand.”

This year, ship bookings represented 560 days in port and a total of 567 000 passenger-days for the nine Saint Lawrence ports of call:  Montréal, Trois-Rivières, Québec, Saguenay, Baie-Comeau, Sept-Îles, Havre Saint-Pierre, Gaspé and the Îles de la Madeleine.

The overall contribution of the international cruise sector in Québec would have amounted to $1 billion in direct, indirect and induced economic impact, as well as 7000 direct and indirect jobs.

Cruise the Saint Lawrence remains hard at work in anticipation of once again welcoming cruise ships to the region in 2021. A unified sanitation and response plan will be introduced to ensure safety across the board. A new sustainable development strategy will also be instituted in the coming months to ensure industry sustainability over time, while respecting the environment and preserving a workable footprint for our host communities.

Cruise the Saint Lawrence is a sectoral organization which groups together the nine ports of call located along the shores of the Saint Lawrence River. The mission of the organization is to grow cruise market activities in Québec and across Destination Canada New England through the provision of marketing and development services to members. Cruise the Saint Lawrence enjoys the support of partners Tourism Québec, Québec Tourism Industry Alliance and Industry, Science and Economic Development Canada.



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