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Sept-Îles' $37m in port upgrades include new cruise pavilion

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The new pavilion will also feature, at right, a shaputuan, a two-doored tent, inspired by the local Innu culture
Québec's Sept-Îles will rebuild its Mgr-Blanche quay to the tune of $30m and construct a permanent $6.9m cruise pavilion, replacing the tent currently used.

Construction is expected to begin as soon as the cruise season ends in the fall with the pavilion to be ready in 2025.

There will be no changes to the berth where cruise ships dock adjacent to the quay, according to Suzanne Cassista, executive director of Destination Sept-Îles Nakauinanu, who represented Sept-Îles at the Canada/New England Cruise Symposium in New York City this week.

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The temporary cruise facility, the white tent, will be replaced with a permanent pavilion on shore. The tent sits atop the quay that will be rebuilt. In the foreground is the pier where cruise ships dock

Recent studies of the quay, which dates to the 1950s, determined it needs to be raised to ensure its essential functions and improve resilience to the effects of climate change. During high tides, flooding has become more frequent.

Cruise visitors are now received at a temporary tent on the quay.

Shoreside multi-use pavilion 

The new cruise pavilion will be built ashore. It will be made of wood with big windows for sweeping views, stations for security, seating and an information desk. Beside the structure will be a shaputuan, a two-doored tent, inspired by the local Innu culture. 

Sept-Îles serves as a gateway for cruise visitors to discover the cultural richness of the Innu community of Uashat mak Mani-Utenam.

The new pavilion will be a multi-use structure, a place for community meetings and conferences throughout the year when not used for cruise calls, Cassista said.

Local, provincial and federal funding

The projects are supported by funding from the port, provincial and federal authorities.

'The modernization of the Port of Sept-Îles will not only ensure the safety and efficiency of port operations, but also new growth opportunities. This investment will strengthen the position of the port and benefit local industries and regional economic development,' Québec Transport Minister Pablo Rodriguez said.

15 cruise calls in 2024

Sept-Îles expects 15 cruise calls this year, up from nine in 2023 and nine in 2022. The destination will be a stop for Ponant's pioneering winter cruises on the St. Lawrence in early 2025.