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Montréal readies for peak cruise season, new ships

© Port of Montréal
Port of Montréal expects record 2015 cruise season
The Port of Montréal is preparing to welcome its first cruise ship in a season that is expected to total more than 71,000 passengers, up from 56,466 last year.

The first call, on May 12, is by the new homeporting ship, Saint-Laurent Prestige, one of five new vessels this season. The others are Oceania Cruises' Marina and Insignia, AIDAdiva and Saga Sapphire.

In total, 19 cruise ships are expected.

'This season marks another big step for the Montréal cruise sector. We are particularly pleased to see international cruise companies consolidating their operations in Montréal by bringing us new ships, and to see river cruises becoming increasingly popular,' said Sylvie Vachon, president and ceo of the Montréal Port Authority.

'It goes to show,' she added, 'that Montréal is a premier destination and that the cruise industry really values our top quality services.'

'Cruises are central to our strategic planning,' said Yves Lalumière, president and ceo of Tourisme Montréal. 'We’ve set some ambitious goals once again this year. Based on our current figures, it looks like all our efforts—and those of our partners—are going to pay off with a record number of visitors. Now more than ever, Montréal is a top destination for cruise passengers from around the world.'

As earlier reported, the province of Québec has committed $20m in funding to help update Montréal's Alexandra Pier and the Iberville Passenger Terminal, $78m in works that are aimed to be completed in 2017.

'The construction of a new maritime terminal will have a big impact on tourism and generate economic spinoffs for Montréal. We see a bright future ahead,' Lalumière said.