MONTREAL, May 10, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The 2012 cruise season will set a record: 55 500 passengers are expected to visit Montréal, which will represent a 46% increase over last season. These excellent results were announced this morning during a press conference with many industry partners in attendance, including Tourisme Montréal and the Montréal Port Authority (MPA). This timely event marks the launch of an exceptional season just two days before the first vessel of the summer is slated to arrive at the Alexandra Quay.
From May 12 to October 24, 2012, it is predicted that some 49 000 passengers will transit through the maritime terminal during 35 scheduled international stopovers, and that 6 500 passengers will embark on domestic cruises, primarily for the Magdalen Islands. It should be noted that this number includes the 14 000 crew members who attend to the comfort and well-being of their passengers. This will generate $14 million in economic spinoffs for Montréal.
"I am absolutely thrilled by these results that show a very promising future for Montréal's international cruise industry as well as a significant economic impact for the city", states Sylvie Vachon, President and Chief Executive Officer for the Montréal Port Authority.
Since 2008, the Port of Montréal has been honoured by 9 awards from the publication Cruise Insight (formerly Dream World Cruise Destinations) for the excellent quality of their cargo and passenger service operations, and for the quality of Montréal as a destination.
Primarily comprised of routes that link ports along the Saint-Lawrence River and the American east coast up to New York, Montréal's international cruise market is also seeing the advent of an interesting trend towards cruises that link various American Great Lakes ports with those in the Saint-Lawrence. Furthermore, the MPA has recently noted a marked interest in the city by major European cruise lines.
"The success of the 2012 cruise season isn't a coincidence. Those involved in this rapidly developing industry have joined forces within the Montréal Cruise Committee and have established the success of this sector as a major priority," underlines the Honourable Charles Lapointe, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tourisme Montréal.
Led by Tourisme Montréal and the Montréal Port Authority, the Montréal Cruise Committee encompasses the Aéroports de Montréal, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, the Old Port of Montreal Corporation, the Hotel Association of Greater Montreal, the City of Montreal, Casino de Montréal and the Société de développement commercial du Vieux-Montréal. The committee is also supported by the Ministère du Tourisme du Québec.
In addition to a record number of passengers, the 2012 season also brings the arrival of certain international vessels for the first time ever to the Port of Montréal, namely the Seabourn Sojourn, a luxury liner that will be in port on September 28 and on October 19. This 198-metre long vessel is owned by the company, The Yachts of Seabourn, and can welcome up to 450 passengers.
About the Port of Montréal
Operated by the Montreal Port Authority (MPA), the Port of Montreal is a major diversified trans-shipment centre that handles all types of goods - containerized and non- containerized cargo, liquid bulk and dry bulk. In 2011 alone, the Port handled 28.5 million tonnes of cargo. The Port of Montreal owns its own rail network, operated directly on the piers. It is connected to both national railway networks and a highway network. The Port also operates a passenger terminal that welcomed 38,031 passengers and crew members in 2011. All the other terminals are managed by private stevedoring companies. Port activity supports 18,200 jobs and generates $1.5 billion in economic spinoffs per year. For more information, please visit www.port-montreal.com.
About Tourisme Montréal
Tourisme Montréal is responsible for providing leadership in the concerted efforts of hospitality and promotion in order to position the 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, please visit www.tourisme-montreal.org.
For further information:
Montréal Cruise Committee
Manager - Corporate Public Relations
Director of Communications
Montréal Port Authority