MONTREAL - Montreal's cruise season came to a close yesterday with the departure of Oceania Cruises' Regatta. According to the information collected to date, the city welcomed 90,000 passengers and crew members this year, representing some $23 million in tourist spending at local businesses, attractions and hotels.
Cruise season officially began on May 7. Sixteen international vessels brought passengers in a total of 38 stops at the temporary cruise terminal located in Eastern Montreal and at the McKay pier in Old Montreal. Four deluxe cruise ships made their first-ever visit to the city, including the Azamara Quest from Azamara Club Cruises, the SS Mariner from Regent Seven Seas Cruises, the Europa 2 from German company Hapag Lloyd and the Viking Star from Viking Cruises.
According to data collected by the Montreal Cruise Committee, clients are primarily American (72%), Australian (8.5%), Canadian (7.5%) and English (4.5%).
"Montrealers can be proud of catering to this high-end customer base, known for consuming luxury products. According to our surveys, tourists have an excellent appreciation for Montreal, with 95% saying they were satisfied with their stay in the city. The 2017 season looks promising, with a 25% increase in traffic being projected, which would bring the total number of cruise passengers to a record 100,000," said Yves Lalumiere, President and CEO of Tourisme Montreal.
With 50 stops already scheduled in Montreal, 2017 promises to be a record year. The ships will return to the Old Port, where passengers will be welcomed in the new facilities on the Alexandra pier.
"The 2016 season was a very positive one, and 2017 should be nothing short of spectacular. The rehabilitation work being done on the new maritime terminal is going according to schedule and we will be ready to open its doors on May 6, just in time to welcome the first ship of the season. In addition, to meet the increased number of cruise ships coming to the Port of Montreal in the coming years, we have decided to permanently add piers 34 and 35, as well as our tent, to our reception infrastructure," added Sylvie Vachon, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Montreal Port Authority.