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Québec gears up for busiest season as turnarounds and summer calls rise

The Port of Québec's international cruise season, which begins Saturday, will be the busiest ever with 110 calls, a big increase in turnarounds and a weekend with six vessels carrying more than 20,000 passengers and crew.

Five new ships and more summer calls are other highlights.

May to August are increasingly popular months for cruising in Québec, with summer calls rising to 53 this year, from 38 in 2013. The business springs from a concerted, multi-year marketing effort by the Québec Port Authority and its partners.

Holland America Line's Veendam, which opens the season on Saturday, will homeport for the second year in a row as it carries out nine embarkation/disembarkation operations. Veendam will be in port for 26 days in 2014, and two other HAL ships will call.

The five new vessels are Pearl Mist, Seabourn Quest and Hamburg, as well as Crystal Serenity and Legend of the Seas which have embarkation/disembarkation operations.

2013 was a record cruise year for the port with 103 calls and 164,000 passengers. Turnaround operations have increased by an average of about 20% per year in recent years.

The port said cruise activities generate $23m in economic impact yearly and put an international spotlight on Québec.

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