High Season for Cruises Begins in Montréal - 29 ships expected before the end of October

MONTRÉAL, Sept. 1, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Montréal is expecting more than 46,000 cruise ship passengers and 10,000 crew members between August 31 and October 22. The 29 international vessels scheduled for arrival will dock at the temporary cruise terminal located in Eastern Montréal and at the McKay pier in Old Montréal. The busiest day of the season will be October 1, when three ships will simultaneously proceed with embarkation and debarkation activities, for a total of 7,000 cruise passengers and crew.

Cruise season officially began on May 7. Over the next two months, four luxury vessels will be making their first-ever stop in Montréal. Azamara Club Cruises' Azamara Quest, which will be in Montréal on September 23, is known for offering high-end vacations. The ship has been chartered by a group of Australians who will travel from Montréal to New Orleans. Meanwhile, Regent Seven Seas Cruises' SS Marina will make two stops in the city, once on October 1 and again on October 21. On September 17, German cruise line Hapag Lloyd has scheduled a stop in Montréal for the Europa 2, a six-star ship that is currently ranked the best in the world by Berlitz. Finally, on October 2 and 3, the city will welcome the Viking Star, the top-of-the-line model from Viking Cruises, a company that specializes in river cruises. 

The cruise sector has a very promising future and already generates significant economic spinoffs for the city. According to a survey conducted by the Montréal Cruise Committee, passengers who started or ended a cruise in Montréal or Québec City in 2015 spent $23 million during their visits.

"Cruises account for a major economic sector in the tourism industry. That's why we have developed promotional campaigns to position Montréal as an essential stop for cruise lines. The Montréal Cruise Committee will continue its promotional efforts to encourage tourists to stay in Montréal before or after their cruises. The goal is to exceed our tourism projections for 2017," said Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal.

Montréal has enjoyed a very strong tourist season since the beginning of the year, and the influx of cruise passengers has bolstered business in shops, restaurants and attractions in the city, including in Old Montréal. "We are really noticing the financial impact from these passengers, which has been significant since last year. As soon as a cruise ship docks in Montréal, local businesses benefit with increased sales. It's very positive for our economy," said Mario Lafrance, General Manager of Vieux-Montréal SDC and member of the Montréal Cruise Committee.

Due to restoration work on the Alexandra pier and Iberville maritime terminal, most cruise operations will take place on piers 34 to 37, located approximately 7 kilometres east of Old Montréal. Two temporary structures featuring all the amenities of a marine terminal have been set up to receive ships throughout the season. "Everyone at the Montréal Port Authority and the Montréal Cruise Committee has made a major effort to ensure that cruise lines and passengers receive outstanding quality service and the warm welcome that Montréal is known for. We are very pleased with the positive feedback we received during the first half of the season and we are ready for the large volumes of passengers expected during the high season," said Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of the Port of Montréal.

To see all scheduled arrivals and departures for the 2016 season, go to cruises.alamontreal.com.

About the Montréal Cruise Committee
Supported by Tourisme Québec, the Montréal Cruise Committee works closely with the Montréal Port Authority and Tourisme Montréal, as well as five other local organizations: Aéroports de Montréal, the Old Port of Montréal Corporation, the Old Montréal Business Development Corporation, and the Hotel Association of Greater Montréal.

For more information about cruises in Montréal, go to: www.cruises.alamontreal.com.

About the Port of Montréal
Operated by the Montréal Port Authority (MPA), the Port of Montréal is a major diversified transshipment centre that handles all types of goods – containerized and non-containerized cargo, liquid bulk and dry bulk. It is a leading container port served by the largest container shipping lines in the world. In 2015, the Port of Montréal handled 32 million tonnes of cargo and welcomed 91,000 passengers and crew members at its cruise terminal. The MPA has its own railway network directly dockside that is connected to two national rail networks and a highway system. Port activity supports 16,000 jobs and generates $2.1 billion in economic spin-offs annually.

About Tourisme Montréal 
Tourisme Montréal is responsible for providing leadership in the concerted efforts of hospitality and promotion in order to position Montréal as a destination on leisure and business travel markets. It is also responsible for developing Montréal's tourism product in accordance with the ever-changing conditions of the market. For more information, go to www.mtl.org.


SOURCE Tourisme Montréal

For further information: or interview requests: Andrée-Anne Pelletier, Manager - Corporate Public Relations, Tourisme Montréal, 514-844-3344/514-264-1638, aapelletier@mtl.org

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