Serenade of the Seas berthed in Sept-Îles with less than 24 hours' notice in early September (Image: Geneviève Pelletier)
Sept-Îles in Canada welcomed a record 18,655 passengers and crew members in 2019, almost double the number it hosted in 2018 and 91% higher than the prior record set in 2014. These visitors arrived over a total of nine days, with 45% coming from the US and 55% travelling from Europe.
Highlights of the port’s 10th international cruise season included return visits from Saga Cruises’ Saga Sapphire, P&O Cruises’ Arcadia, Silversea Cruises’ Silver Wind and Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, which made two calls. Three vessels also made their inaugural calls to Sept-Îles, including as well as maiden calls from Seabourn’s Seabourn Quest and Ponant’s expedition yacht Le Champlain.
Royal Caribbean International also made its first-ever visit to the port, unexpectedly docking Serenade of the Seas in early September to avoid the path of Hurricane Dorian, which struck The Bahamas. The ship arrived with less than 24 hours’ notice and spent 34 hours in port. Some passengers opted to leave the ship and return home, but many stayed in Sept-Îles and enjoyed the city’s attractions, sending letters of thanks to the local mayor (read here).
“This recognition and the industry’s trust in our port of call are entirely due to the dedication of our reception staff on site and all our partners and associates,” said Marie-Eve Duguay, executive director of Destination Sept-Îles Nakauinanu. “Each and every one of them is deeply invested in this endeavour and proud to show the world how welcoming we are. That’s really the strength of our destination, and it’s ultimately the personal aspect that people remember.”
In September, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions revealed that it will construct a permanent welcome pavilion for the Port of Sept-Îles. The project is expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2022 cruise season and will save the time and money associated with setting up and taking down temporary pavilions each time a cruise ship visits.
“We’ve been working on this project since 2016, and we could not have reached this important milestone without the leadership and support of the city of Sept-Îles, the Port of Sept-Îles, and the Innu Council of Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam,” said Duguay. “We are pleased that our provincial and federal governments also recognise the importance of tourism in our areas and are choosing to join us in investing in our growth.”
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