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Québec reaches for record

Rebecca Gibson

The port will handle six cruise ships simultaneously for the first time on 3 October (Image: Mathieu Dupuis)

The Port of Québec is to reach full capacity for the first time in its history when six cruise vessels dock simultaneously in the city on 3 October 2014.

Expected to bring a total of more than 20,000 passengers and crew members to the port in one day, the six ships will visit during Québec’s busiest international cruise season to date. The port is scheduled to handle 110 cruise ships this season, which will open on 10 May with the arrival of Holland America Line’s (HAL) Veendam at the Ross Gaudreault Cruise Terminal.

Homeporting in the Canadian city for a second consecutive year, Veendam will offer nine embarkation and disembarkations during the season, as well as berthing at the port for 26 days. In addition, two of the line’s other ships will return to the port this season.

Five ships will make inaugural visits to Québec in 2014 including Pearl Cruises’ Pearl Mist, Seabourn Cruises’ Seabourn Quest and Plantours’ Hamburg. In addition, Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Serenity and Royal Caribbean International’s Legend of the Seas will use the port for embarkations and disembarkations.

After a long-term campaign by the Québec Port Authority and its partners, the summer season has become increasingly popular, with 53 ships visiting the port between May and August this year. In 2013, 38 vessels visited the city during this period.

“This year will mark the busiest season we’ve ever seen at the port,” said Mario Girard, president and CEO of the Québec Port Authority. “We already know that we are headed for a record level of traffic in the 2014 season with a never-before-seen peak of 110 cruise ship visits.”

Last year, Québec reached record numbers as 103 cruise ships and 164,000 guests visited the port, while embarkation and disembarkation operations have increased by an average of about 20% per year. In addition, the cruise industry generates CAD23 million for the local economy annually, making it one of the primary cruise ports on the St Lawrence River.

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