The Port of Quebec is expecting to set an all-time record this year with some 200,000 cruise passengers, according to Caroline Tetu of Tourisme Quebec.
Tetu told Cruise Industry News that the long-term goal is to reach 400,000 by 2025, including visiting passengers and passengers starting or ending their cruise in Quebec. Meanwhile, she is focused on building up the summer traffic as Canada and New England have typically been fall foliage destinations.
The only brand to sail regular summer cruises in the region, Holland America has expanded its deployment this year from one to two ships, having both the Veendam and the Maasdam sail a variety of cruises to Canada and New England from May through September for a total of 42 calls.
In addition, Quebec will welcome several maiden calls this summer, said Tetu, including the Silver Muse, the Norwegian Jade, Ponant’s Soleal and the Viking Sea and Sky.
This year the City of Quebec will open a new park, the Place des Canotiers, adjacent to the cruise port in May. Having invested $39 million in the park, it will provide public space for passengers at Pier 22, beside the Ross Gaudreault Terminal.
According to Tetu, $89 million is also being invested in the redesign and expansion of the Ross Gaudreault Terminal, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, as well as the installation of a mobile terminal at Berth 30 in the Estuary section.
Among special events this summer is Festival d’ete, a musical festival taking place from July 6 to 16; Rendez-Vous 2017, a tall-ship parade from July 18 to 23; and Fete de la Nouvelle France from August 9 to 13, showcasing the 17th and 18th centuries in America, with theater performances, battle enactments, and more.
Tetu said that among her favorite activities would be a walking of tour of the walls of Old Quebec, the only walled city in North America; a visit to the island of Orleans with its nature and farms and also said to take visitors back to the original French settlements in Quebec; a visit to the Montmorency Falls, which, she said, are taller than the Niagara Falls and has a zip line; kayaking on the Saint Lawrence River, or swimming at the beach at Baie de Beauport.