Montreal Closes 2023 Cruise Season with 51k Passengers

Viking ship in Montreal

The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) announced a 33 percent increase in traffic in the cruise industry in 2023, with 51,000 passengers and 16,200 crew members. The cruise sector, which brings significant economic benefits for the Canadian city, has recovered, th eport said in a statement.

“It’s exciting for us to see how Montreal’s appeal as a tourist city and popular cruise destination keeps growing,” said Geneviève Deschamps, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Montreal.

“Higher traffic is coming and our port facilities are ready after a complete makeover to give visitors an optimal experience that lives up to the city’s international reputation. The Port of Montreal is proud to contribute to the growth, development, and success of this tourism sector, which generates huge economic benefits for the region and the province.”

The cruise season started on April 29 with the arrival of Holland America Line’s Zaandam and concluded on October 30 with the departure of Oceania Cruises’ Insignia.

The port saw calls from 23 ships from 15 different companies for 48 total calls.

Ship occupancy averaged 90 percent compared to 75 percent in 2022.

Since 2017, the Port of Montreal has provided cruise ships with shore power connections at the Grand Quay. This technology enables ships to shut down their engines while berthed, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In response to increased demand, nine ships utilized these connections this season, resulting in a 370-ton reduction in greenhouse gasses, equivalent to removing 105 cars from the road for a year.

The Grand Quay terminals also offer direct dockside connection for wastewater treatment, which was utilized by 14 ships this season.

Tourisme Montréal’s “Visit Montréal the sustainable way” program aims to promote responsible tourism and sustainable development. Montreal has earned the top spot in North America for 2022 in the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index), a benchmark for sustainable tourism.

The opening of the season featuring the Zaandam coincided with the 150th-anniversary celebration of the Holland America Line, which has long held the position of the leading cruise line visiting Montreal, according to the port.

Between 2010 and 2022, Holland America Line vessels made a total of 136 stops in Montreal, accommodating 337,111 passengers, which constituted 54 percent of all passengers visiting Montreal during that period. During the current season, the Zaandam made eight calls to the city, transporting 21,450 passengers along with 4,600 crew members.

Montreal welcomed five new ships during this season, including the Hanseatic Inspiration by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises with a capacity of 230 passengers, the Vista by Oceania Cruises accommodating 1,200 passengers, the Pacific World from Peace Boat with a capacity of 1,950 passengers, and the Viking Neptune and Viking Mars by Viking Ocean Cruises, each with a capacity of 930 passengers.

The Port of Montreal also finalized the last details of its significant refurbishment project on the cruise terminal at Grand Quay. This effort included the public unveiling of an observation tower last May and the introduction of the “BONJOUR” structure in July.

In the 2024 season, the Port of Montreal expects a 6 percent growth increase, with 54,000 passengers and seven new ships: Le Champlain and le Lyrial from Ponant, the Borealis fromFred Olsen, the Nautica from Oceania, the Seven Seas Grandeur from Regent Seven Seas, the Volendam fromy Holland America, and the World Explorer from Rivages du Monde.

“The cruise industry is a powerful vector of international outreach for our city,” addedYves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal. “The Port is a gateway to a city where major events, gastronomy, and well-being create an unforgettable experience. Montreal is a recognized tourist destination, and cruises are one of the keys to our success.”


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