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Saguenay, Quebec Celebrates 10 Years of Cruise Visitors

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Yesterday was a very special day for the city of Saguenay, Quebec in Canada.

It was the officially anniversary day for the city’s port of call.  On that day in September 2006, Holland America’s ms Amsterdam first docked there, and began the port’s very first season of international cruises.  That season, eight ships visited in total.

A Bit of History

In 2007, the government of Quebec and Canada committed to constructing a proper port for the new cruise ship destination, and ms Eurodam was the first ship to dock at the new wharf in 2008.  A port village was also designed, and opened in 2015 with ms Maasdam on hand for the celebration.  Sculpted letters spelling the city’s name were revealed to mark the occasion, and visitors can take photos there to remember their visit to Saguenay.

In 2009, Saguenay received the award for “Best Port Welcome” from the international cruise industry, and has won three other awards since then.

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10th Anniversary Celebration

Dominique Hudson performs. photo: Saguenay Port's Facebook page

Dominique Hudson performs. photo: Saguenay Port’s Facebook page

Two ships were in port yesterday: Zuiderdam and Norwegian Dawn.  Festivities for the anniversary began at noon, and everyone in town and aboard the ships was invited to take part in the celebration.  There was a ceremony, cake was served, and Latin singer Dominique Hudson performed at the port village Agora.

For this year’s season, Saguenay will welcome 38 ships, with a total of over 51,000 passengers and crew members.

featured photo: The Port’s Facebook page

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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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CANADA

Port Saint John Predicts a Great Season Ahead

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The 30th season at Port Saint John, New Brunswick starts this year with the May 1 arrival of Oceania Cruises’ Marina. It will conclude on November 2, when Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Navigator comes to town.

By the time the last ship casts its lines, 75 vessels will have visited, bringing approximately 176,000 guests and 70,000 crew along. This represents a 19 percent increase in passengers over the 2017 season, and a 13 percent increase in the number of cruise ship calls. Cruise activity provides an annual $49.9 million boost to New Brunswick’s economy. The total impact included direct spending by cruise lines, passengers, and crew in New Brunswick of $21.5 million, 298 direct jobs in the province, and $12.5 million in personal income.

Highlights for the upcoming 2018 season include:

  • 14 double cruise ship days
  • 2 triple cruise ship days
  • 5 inaugural calls (Adventure of the Seas, Asuka II, Hebridean Sky, AIDAvita, and Norwegian Escape)
  • New cruise lines to call in Saint John (NYK Cruises, AIDA Cruises, and expedition-class cruise line Noble Caledonia and Pearl Seas)
  • Notable ship visit: Queen Mary 2 on July 3, 2018

Port Saint John is Canada’s third largest port by tonnage and has a diverse cargo base, including dry and liquid bulk, break bulk, containers, and cruise.

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