April 9, 2024

Rimouski, April 9th 2024 ? The first sound signals heralding the arrival of a cruise ship will be heard in the region of the Québec capital on April 10th when MSC Poesia, operated by MSC Cruises, docks in the Port of Québec, thereby officially launching the 2024 Destination Saint Lawrence international cruise season.

Wind in sails of cruise industry

Indicators point to a planned total of over 400 operations spread out across the nine member ports of call of Cruise the Saint Lawrence (CSL) for the 2024 season. Destination officials are indeed gearing up to welcome 46 different ships from 29 cruise lines and preparing a signature feast of nature and culture for travellers to our shores. Bookings to date are estimated to represent over 400 000 passenger-days and some 500 days in port. With close to 70 embarkation and disembarkation operations scheduled, the ships set to sail the waters of the Saint Lawrence are expected to generate significant economic benefits for the communities visited. Readers will recall, based on a study conducted in 2019, that the international cruise industry annually injects over $700 million in direct and indirect economic benefits into the Québec economy. Between early April and late October of this year, the nine Saint Lawrence ports of call ? Montréal, Trois-Rivières, Québec, Saguenay, Baie-Comeau, Sept-Îles, Havre-Saint-Pierre, Gaspé and Îles-de-la-Madeleine ? will welcome a total of 10 vessels on inaugural voyages to the region. Traffic for 2024 is forecast to increase slightly, with overall figures projected to be comparable to those posted for 2023.

Focus on sustainable development and environmental stewardship

One leading component of our sustainable development strategy is our stated commitment to rendering Destination Saint Lawrence increasingly sustainable and respectful of the environment. To ensure that all Saint Lawrence member ports of call navigate in the same direction, each will receive location-specific sustainable development coaching this spring. This network-wide initiative will entail a visit to each port of call by CSL’s sustainable development adviser as well as by a consultant from Ellio, a sustainable development consultancy. The proposed sessions will enable Cruise the Saint Lawrence officials to assess and guide member ports of call in implementing environmentally responsible practices intended to foster sustainable tourism, while developing sustainable development strategies aligned with policies at the association level.

“Once again this season, the nine member ports of call of Cruise the Saint Lawrence will welcome many thousands of visitors eager to discover the wonders of the Saint Lawrence, to immerse themselves in our culture and to partake of the myriad attractions on offer in our communities. It is our intention to render these experiences as memorable as they are sustainable,” underscored Yves Gilson, president of Cruise the Saint Lawrence.

About CSL

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 Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.