Maasdam first in at Montréal's modernized cruise terminal

Maasdam is welcomed alongside Maasdam is welcomed alongside (Photo: Port of Montréal)

Festivities and a bevy of officials welcomed Holland America Line's Maasdam on Saturday as the first ship alongside the Port of Montréal's newly modernized cruise terminal.

'We are very proud to have successfully completed this important project that represents a milestone in the Port of Montréal's modern history,' said Sylvie Vachon, port president and ceo. 'Now fully up and running, this new terminal bolsters the city's international positioning by offering an efficient, friendly and prestigious welcome to cruise passengers from all over the world, and all just in time to celebrate its 375th anniversary.'

The terminal also opens in time to provide a first-hand look for executives from a number of cruise lines who are attending the Cruise Canada/New England Symposium in Montréal this week.

The works related to revitalizing Alexandra Pier are scheduled to be completed in September. For the occasion, the port plans to host a huge family celebration.

Revitalization work on Alexandra Pier began in November 2015. The project was made possible through the financial contribution of the government of Québec ($20m) and the city of Montreal ($15m). For its part, the Montréal Port Authority invested $43m, bringing the total investment to $78m.

'The Alexandra Pier revitalization project enables us to heighten Montréal's appeal and welcoming capacity, which will help make the city and the province even more attractive as world-class destinations,' according to Isabelle Melançon, MNA for Verdun, on behalf of Quebec Tourism Minister Julie Boulet.

'A bearer of economic benefits, this investment will also give Montréalers better access to the river,' added Martin Coiteux, minister of municipal affairs and land occupancy, minister of public security and minister responsible for the Montréal region.

Montréal Mayor Denis Coderre called the port a vital economic engine. 'The opening of this terminal is a perfect fit with Montréal's 375th festivities,' he said. 'All our visitors will enjoy an even more impressive welcome.'

The concept executed by the architectural firm Provencher_Roy enables the port to provide superior reception facilities for passengers and to integrate many aspects of best practices in sustainable development.

Alexandra Pier dates back more than a century. A full overhaul of the terminal was necessary to upgrade operations.

Work will continue over the summer, including the completion of the Port Interpretation Centre, the terminal's green roof, the parking area and a large public square designed to give Montréalers and visitors better access to the river.

On Sept. 10, the public will be invited to a grand opening in the form of a family celebration. Then, in 2019, a signature tower is to be inaugurated at the far end of the terminal.

Posted 12 June 2017

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review