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Queen Mary 2 Visits Saguenay

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Yesterday marked the first time that Cunard’s flagship Queen Mary 2 visited Saguenay, Quebec, Canada.  The vessel’s arrival attracted almost 40,000 spectators to the port, and a fun-filled atmosphere awaited guests who arrived there.

A special program was created to mark the special day.  Over 160 volunteers dressed in La Fabuleuse costumes were there, ready to offer cruise passengers a memorable reception with traditional dances and samples of local products.  Saguenay’s mayor, along with dignitaries, welcomed Captain Kevin Oprey of Queen Mary 2 as well; notably one of the day’s highlights.  The occasion also marked the ten year anniversary since the first major wharf facilities were built there to one day accommodate the large transatlantic liner – a dream that is now reality for the young port of call.

Saguenay’s harbor village was filled with music throughout the day for the guests and public, and Québec Issime provided a musical crescendo that coincided with the departure of the ship.  Visitors and passengers wished goodbye by waving thousands of red festival flags, and the crowd gathered around the bay for a last glimpse of the ship for the day.

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The activities came to a close with a dazzling fireworks display organized by the Saguenay Fjord’s villages as Queen Mary 2 left for the Saint Lawrence River.

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CANADA

Port Saint John Seeing More Cruise Passengers

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The 2017 season at Port Saint John, Canada provided a 3 percent increase in cruise passengers over the same 2016 time frame, with 208,818 visitors. The port also received one extra port of call from a cruise ship this year; 64 compared to 63 last year.

Highlights of 2017 for the port included:

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  • 12 double cruise ship days and 5 triple cruise ship days in September and October
  • 2 inaugural calls: Vision of the Seas and TUI’s Mein Schiff 6
  • Introduction of German-based TUI Cruises to Port Saint John
  • 2 calls by Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Magic
  • Anthem of the Seas, the largest cruise ship to call in Port Saint John to date, stopped there 4 times

Earlier this year, the port released updated economic impact figures from the cruise sector in New Brunswick. Total annual impact from the cruise industry in New Brunswick has risen from $41.5 million per year to $49.9 million per year, an increase of 20 percent. The total impact included direct spending by cruise lines, guests, and crew in New Brunswick, 298 direct jobs in the Province, and $12.5 million in personal income.

Port Saint John is Canada’s third largest port by tonnage, the country’s fourth busiest cruise port, and has a diverse cargo base.

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CANADA

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

Québec City Announces Its Official Cruise Month

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Québec City, Canada has announced its first ever Cruise Month, which will kick off September 16 and run through October 16.  Each fall, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), and the cruising community come together to celebrate cruising with Cruise Month events around the world.

Québec’s will celebrate a booming cruise industry in the region.  The Port of Québec is poised to have a record-breaking year with a large increase in passengers.  The port forecasts a nearly 30 percent increase over the 2016 season, which could bring the port to an all-time high of 200,000 visitors.  A variety of events are planned to showcase local businesses, arts, and culture of the history and dynamic city.  During this time, five ships will be making maiden calls to Québec: Ponant Soleil, Viking Sky, Silver Muse, Viking Sea, and Norwegian Jade.

The celebration will allow cruise visitors the chance to discover new experiences in the city.  The districts will provide a variety of cultural activities, including:

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  • Passages Insolites – June 29 to October 15 – Pop-up public art installations are displayed throughout the Old Port district, Quartier Petit Champlain, and Place Royale.
  • Festival de Cinema de la Ville de Québec – September 13 to 23 – This annual event offers premieres and screenings of films from all over the world at various places throughout the city.
  • The Night of the Gallery – September 16 – Attendees can walk through the streets of Quartier Petit Champlain with a glass of wine in hand.  During the evening, 35 art galleries and artisan’s shops will stay open late, and 29 top restaurants will provide exceptional cuisine.
  • Limoilou en Famille – September 17 – Family-focused performances of traditional and humorous songs along with circus activities, cheerleading demonstrations, Zumba workshops, and more.

For more information about the port and this year’s cruising season there, click here.

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