News and notes from the 2016 Cruise Canada New England Symposium held in New York City.
**There are discussions well underway for the ports in Canada/New England to fund an organization with full-time employees to represent and market the region. While the Symposium is an annual event, it is organized by the major players in the region.
**Next year’s Symposium will take place in Montreal, and Boston is the early favorite for 2018.
**Quebec has launched a 2025 vision for cruise, targeting over 400,000 passengers by then.
**The new workshop format was well received (see separate article) and organizers were on the ball in terms of keeping things on schedule, even battling through a long lunch and typical Manhattan traffic delaying the afternoon sessions.
**Also noted is the lack of a known 10-year plan for the region. With new ships on the books through 2026, the collection of ports was suggested to take a look at a plan for their own growth.
**Attendance was noticeably up at the Symposium, with 100 expected and roughly 150 on location.
**Need a boarding bridge after an incident? ADELTE, which is among a few suppliers for passenger gangways, has a turnaround time of at least six months.
**While Costa and MSC, which have both abandoned Canada/New England programs, were not on the attendee list, there was a representative from MSC present. In addition, TUI’s Mein Schiff 6 will visit the region for the first time in 2017.
**While summer traffic is talked about, a quick look at itineraries show similar length Caribbean summer cruises significantly cheaper than Canada/New England summer offerings. A four-day Carnival cruise from New York will call in Saint John, while a similar sailing on a similar ship from Carnival from South Florida will call on two ports and cost significantly less.
**It was also conveniently noted that passengers that purchase shore excursions through the cruise lines rate both the respective ports and the cruise higher due to a better engagement level with the destination.
**Among the words positively associated with Canada/New England on passenger surveys: “lobster.”