MONTREAL, Oct. 22, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The cruise season in the Port of Montréal ends on October 24. During this last week of activity, five ships will cast anchor in the Cruise Terminal with nearly 10,000 passengers embarking or disembarking, ready to explore the city and its attractions. To mark the end of the cruise season, the media are invited to visit the Port of Montréal to take pictures of three docked ships on October 23, between 8 a.m. and noon. An exclusive tour of the AIDA Bella vessel will also take place.
In 2013, Montréal had an exceptional cruise season with more than 53,000 passengers, an increase of nearly 10% compared to last year. For the first time, the cruise season was uninterrupted from May to October. The fall months remain the most popular, however, due to the colours that light up the trees in the region and offer a unique spectacle.
From October 18 to 24, Montrealers will be able to observe 5 ships in action at the Port of Montréal: the Regatta (650 passengers), the AIDA Bella (2,500 passengers), the Silver Whisper (390 passengers), the Crystal Symphony (960 passengers), and the SS Navigator (500 passengers).
"In 2012, we estimate that the cruise industry was able to generate economic spin-offs of approximately $14 million for Montréal. These results demonstrate the enormous potential of this niche," states Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal. "We have big ambitions, and we will do everything we can to make Montréal a world-class cruise destination."
"For three years the cruise industry has been evolving at the Port of Montréal, thanks to the work of our marketing and operations teams, and the support of our partners from the Montréal Cruise Committee," added Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of the Montréal Port Authority. "Cruise passengers were welcomed this year in fully refreshed facilities and by a new Executive Director, and we believe in the extraordinary potential of this sector for the economic development of the city and its international stature."
Improvements at the Cruise Terminal
To best accommodate passengers anchored in Montréal, the Cruise Committee, Tourisme Montréal, and the Port of Montréal recently completed renovations to the terminal. As such, the passenger spaces were improved. Among other things, registration services and the printing of airport boarding passes are now available on site.
The hiring of an Executive Director was also achieved to improve client experiences and facilitate the embarking and disembarking of passengers and their efficient transfer towards the city. A dynamic team engaged in informing travelers is also onsite to provide advice on major attractions and activities.
Cruises à la Montréal, a new microsite
A brand new microsite dedicated to the cruise industry was recently launched, a virtual window revealing Montréal as a choice port of call. Travelers can discover all kinds of information related to cruise packages, the city, and practical advice for organizing their trips.
Montrealers, travel agents, and members of the tourism industry, meanwhile, can find a wealth of relevant information, including the arrival and departure schedules of ships that ply the waters of the Port of Montréal.
Media Invitation and Photo-op
The media are invited to the Montréal Cruise Terminal located at the Alexandra Quay (across from the Pointe-à-Callière Museum) to take photos of three docked ships on October 23, between 8 a.m. and noon.
A tour of the AIDA Bella reserved for media will then be conducted at noon (mandatory confirmation of attendance: firstname.lastname@example.org). This cruise ship measuring 253 metres long is the largest that has stopped in Montréal thus far. Made in Germany, it is the property of Aida Cruises and was placed in service in 2008.
Note that the success of Montréal in the cruise market is the result of the concerted efforts of members of the Montréal Cruise Committee, who since 2011, have mobilized around a common goal: to make the city a leading cruise destination. Organized by Tourisme Montréal and the Montréal Port Authority, the Committee brings together the Aéroports de Montréal, the Old Port of Montréal, the Casino de Montréal, the Société de développement commercial du Vieux-Montréal, the Hotel Association of Greater Montréal, and the City of Montréal, all of whom count on the financial support of the ministère du Tourisme du Québec.
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. The Port of Montréal also handled 9,721,422 tonnes of liquid bulk, 3,467,394 tonnes of dry bulk and 3,070,054 tonnes of grain in 2012. The Port of Montréal has its own rail network directly dockside. It is connected to the two national rail networks and a highway system. The port operates a passenger terminal that welcomed 69,992 passengers and crew members in 2012. All other terminals are run by private stevedoring firms.
Port activity supports 18,200 jobs and generates $1.5 billion in economic spin-offs annually. For more information, 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 "Montréal" 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, visit www.tourisme-montreal.org.
Image with caption: "Five ships will be in the Port of Montreal between October 18 and 24 with nearly 10,000 passengers embarking or disembarking, ready to explore the city and its attractions. (CNW Group/Tourisme Montréal)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131022_C6204_PHOTO_EN_32392.jpg
SOURCE: Tourisme Montréal
For further information:
Manager - Corporate Public Relations
Director of Communications
Montréal Port Authority