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Québec City Has Record-Breaking Cruise Year

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Regularly considered a favorite travel destination, Québec City, Canada is emerging as one of North America’s top ports and is consistently breaking records. With infrastructure and port developments underway, the port is poised to be a year-round destination for the world’s top cruise lines. Located where the St. Charles and St. Lawrence Rivers meet, Québec is known as the most European city in North America, and is a highlight of Canada/New England cruises.

The total cruise passengers calling in Québec City this year has exceeded projections and reached an all-time high of 201,000, an increase of over 30 percent from 2016. The port welcomed a total of 132 ships from all the major cruise lines, which made 118 port calls and 14 turn arounds. Five maiden calls were made there as well, from Ponant, Norwegian, Silversea, and Viking.

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A ship docked in Québec City – photo: Flickr/Visavis

This season, Place des Canotiers, a $39 million signature park at Pier 22 was inaugurated. Other developments include additional berthing options with the agreement to operate the Quai Paquet fountain, which is a short ferry ride away on the opposite side of the St. Lawrence River and boasts spectacular views of the iconic Chateau Frontenac.

2017 has been a banner year for the port, with accolades from Travel + Leisure‘s World’s Best Award, Cruise Critic‘s Top Cruise Destination in the US & Canada, and Québec was also nominated for Top Cruise Destination of the Year in the Seatrade Cruise Awards. The Port also hosted its first-ever Cruise Month with CLIA, which was a collaboration of the city government, tourism, and port officials.

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CANADA

Nearly 130,000 Cruise Guests Expected in Canadian Port This Year

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Cruising season has begun in Montréal, and this year, 27 ships and 19 cruise lines will make a total of 90 stops in the Canadian port. Over 130,000 passengers and crew are expected to visit the city, which is a 12 percent increase over last year’s season.

More and more cruises are starting or ending in the port this year. In fact, four different companies are offering roundtrip itineraries from the city, via Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon or the Great Lakes. Montréal will also be the departure port for 20 cruises headed to Boston, 16 to New York City, 16 to the Magdalen Islands, and 6 to Florida. There will also be cruises to the Great Lakes, Europe, and Cuba.

Montréal, Canada – photo: Holland America Line

The season will continue through November 2, when Oceania’s Insignia departs. Between now and then, Montréal will welcome six new ships, including M/S Jacques Cartier, Victory II, AIDAvita, Star Pride, Silver Spirit, and Silver Wind. 

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The Port of Montréal is also unveiling new facilities to welcome new visitors. Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of the Montréal Port Authority said, “Last year, we inaugurated a new cruise terminal, demonstrating the Port of Montréal’s desire to offer passengers and cruise operators an exceptional experience that’s in line with Montréal’s reputation. This year, we’re enhancing the experience by opening three public areas on the port’s Grand Quai, which will shape the new identity for the Alexandra Pier. The projections for this year confirm Montréal’s draw as a destination for international and domestic cruises, including those on the Great Lakes.”

Click here to see the port’s full cruising schedule for 2018.

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CANADA

Vancouver, Canada Gears Up For Busy Cruising Season

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Vancouver, Canada is gearing up for a record year of cruise tourism – the highest since 2010, to be exact.

The 2018 cruising season began today with the arrival of Star Princess, en route to Hawaii. “We always look forward to the start of the cruise season, and are thrilled this year to welcome even more visitors to our cruise terminal at Canada Place,” said Robin Silvester, president and chief executive officer of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.

Norwegian Bliss will debut this year, and be the largest ship that has ever visited the Canadian west coast city. It can hold up to 4,000 passengers and will cruise Alaska seasonally beginning this summer. A total of 895,000 cruise guests on 241 ship visits from 14 cruise lines are expected to visit Vancouver’s downtown port this summer, representing a seven percent increase over 2017.

Norwegian Bliss

Norwegian Bliss is the newest ship to join the Norwegian fleet. Photo via MEYER WERFT.

Within the 241 ship visits will be the same 32 individual vessels, ranging from small, luxury expedition ships to larger cruise ships heading for Alaska. Some of the cruise lines returning this year include Holland America, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, and Celebrity Cruises.

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The Port of Vancouver will also welcome their 25 millionth cruise ship passenger this year. To celebrate, the port will host a party at Canada Place in May. The lucky guest is expected on a Holland America ship.

On Sunday, May 6, all three ports at Canada Place will be occupied by cruise ships – the first day of the season with a “full house” at the port. They are expected to all be Holland America vessels. The very last ship of the season is scheduled to be Emerald Princess on October 19, 2018.

Information: Vancouver Sun

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CANADA

Québec, Canada Wants Wintertime Cruise Guests

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With the increased demand for cruises to Canada and New England, and the growing trend of cold weather cruises, Québec tourism and port officials recently invited representatives from Adventure Canada, Huerten-Groten and Ponant cruise lines to partake in the first-ever winter familiarization trip to the region.

A ship docked in Québec City – photo: Flickr/Visavis

The group visited Québec from February 8-14, and explored Montréal, Trois-Rivères, Québec, and Saguenay. Activities in Québec included a tour of the port, a taste of the winter Carnaval, a visit to the city’s famed ice hotel “Hotel de Glace,” and urban discovery tours. There was also a trip to Montmorency Falls and the Valcartier Vacation Village, the largest winter playground in America. It has over 35 snow slides, skating paths, snow rafting, 5,000 inner tubes and 17 mechanical lifts, plus ice skating, tobogganing, dog sledding, ski-dooing, and ice fishing.

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Other wintery activities were shown to the group in presentations and discussions. Hôtel 71 in Old Québec City hosted the group during their stay and Chlorophylle, a local manufacturer of upmarket outdoor gear outfitted them in warm year.

For information on activities in Québec City, click here.

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