St. Lawrence News – Change of course for Carnival Cruise Lines in 2010

Carnival Cruise Lines has announced that it will restructure its operations by canceling the three stops on the new “Québec – After the Glaciers” itinerary due to the difficult financial situation.

The Québec Port Authority (QPA), Croisières Baie-Comeau, and Corporation du Port de Havre-Saint-Pierre recently learned the news that Carnival Cruise Lines has decided to concentrate its sales efforts on 4 and 5 day itineraries rather than the new 9 day cruise. The Carnival Glory was to leave New York and call at Québec City, Baie-Comeau, and Havre-Saint-Pierre before returning to its point of origin. Despite the cancellation, Carnival Cruise Lines has confirmed to the three ports of call that it is still very interested in their tourist attractions and will reassess the situation for 2011.

The cruise line’s decision does not call into question the development potential of these ports. The Canada New England 2009 Cruise Symposium held last June 16 to 18 in Saguenay and attended by some 200 representatives of port authorities, the tourism industry, and the largest international cruise lines, was very encouraging for the entire St. Lawrence. Following the symposium, very positive comments on all the St. Lawrence ports of call were received from cruise line senior executives.

Despite this setback, Québec City, Baie-Comeau, and Havre-Saint-Pierre nevertheless expect an increase in the number of passengers in 2010 as a result of their promotional efforts in recent years. A number of development projects under way in these regions are sure to attract clientele in the years to come.

It should be noted that the international cruise industry in Québec generates about $80 million in direct economic benefits, including an average $118 per passenger spent at each port of call. Québec enjoyed its best season ever in 2008, welcoming about 150,000 passengers at the nine ports of call along the St. Lawrence River.

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