Montreal’s cruise season opened in May with Haimark Line’s 210-berth Saint Laurent (below) and closed last week with the Regent’s 490-berth Seven Seas Navigator.
In all, Montreal recorded 73 cruise ships visits this year, 29 more than the 44 received in 2014. Preliminary figures indicate that more than 92,000 passengers and crewmembers transited the cruise terminal this season, a near 30% increase over 2014 and a 94% hike since the creation of the Montreal Cruise Committee in 2011. The committee was established with a brief to attract more international cruise lines to the Canadian port.
The St Lawrence River cruise season generally runs from May through October, with the busiest months being September and October, for the autumn leaves. According to data collected by the Montreal Cruise Committee, clients are primarily American (72%), Australian (8.5%), Canadian (7.5%) and English (4.5%).
Like Quebec, Montreal has adopted a bad habit of counting crew members along with passengers. The cruise lines regard crew as a cost centre and passengers as the revenue centre. If we take a ratio of say 2.5 passengers to every crewmember, then 92,000 represents about 66,000 passengers and 26,000 crew.
Holland America Line’s Maasdam departing Montreal on a cruise. She is Montreal’s most frequent caller.
Reducing the passenger number further means about 5,600 Australian passengers outnumbered the roughly 5,000 Canadians who took a cruise over Montreal by 12 to 13%, which is quite ridiculous. Montreal is inside in a country with a population of 35 million, while Australia has only 23 million. And Sydneysiders have to travel 10,000 miles to get to Montreal!
Perhaps as well as attracting foreign cruise lines, the Montreal Cruise Committee should start working on attracting more domestic passengers to their local port, which is just down the street, along the highway or less than a half-hour drive away from Trudeau Airport.Essentially, this research means the number of Canadians cruising through Montreal numbers only one in every 7,000 of the country’s population and the nearby Americans outnumber them almost ten to one.
By comparison, this year Vancouver is expected to handle some 805,000 cruise passengers to Montreal’s 66,000, or about twelve times as many as its St Lawrence sister port, with 228 calls compared to Montreal’s 73.
If you want to cruise from Montreal next year, The Cruise People Ltd highly recommends Cruiseco’s charter of the Azamara Quest from Montreal to New Orleans, a voyage of 32 nights, next September and October, with 19 ports and 9 overnights. Further details of the Montreal to New Orleans cruise can be found here.
Ironically, this cruise is being offered by the Australian group Cruiseco, who will be bringing several hundred more Australian passengers to Montreal next year.
One way to reach this cruise will be a Transatlantic sailing from Southampton from September 9 to 24. Further details of this Atlantic crossing can be found here.
For further details on these or any other Montreal cruises call us in London on 020 7723 2450 or email email@example.com.