Holland America’s Maasdam Opens Montreal Cruise Season; Record 55,500 Cruise Passengers Expected in 2012, Up 46% on 2011

Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Symphony in the St Lawrence River at Quebec, en route to Montreal

Montreal’s 2012 cruise season, which starts this Saturday with the arrival of Holland America Line’s Maasdam at Alexandra Pier, will set a record: 55,500 passengers are expected to visit Montreal, up 46% over last season. From May 12 to October 24, 2012, 49,000 passengers are expected to transit through the passenger terminal during 35 scheduled international stopovers, and a further 6,500 passengers will embark on domestic cruises, primarily for the Gaspé and the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St Lawrence. Pictured above is Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Symphony, which will operate a 7-night round-trip cruise from Montreal on September 30.

“I am absolutely thrilled by these results that show a very promising future for Montreal’s international cruise industry as well as significant economic spinoffs for the city,” said Sylvie Vachon, president and ceo of the Montreal Port Authority, at a press conference held this morning at Iberville Passenger Terminal. Cruise lines calling at Montreal this season will include Aida Cruises, Blount Small Ship Adventures, Crystal Cruises, CTMA, Holland America Line, Oceania Cruises, Phoenix Reisen, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, St Lawrence Cruise Lines, Seabourn, Silversea and Travel Dynamics International.

“The success of the 2012 cruise season isn’t a coincidence. Those involved in this rapidly developing industry have joined forces on the Montreal Cruise Committee and have established the success of this sector as a major priority,” said the Hon Charles Lapointe, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tourisme Montréal.

Led by Tourisme Montréal and the Montreal Port Authority, the Montreal Cruise Committee brings together Aéroports de Montréal, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, the Old Port of Montreal Corporation, the Hotel Association of Greater Montreal, the City of Montreal, Casino de Montréal and the Société de développement commercial du Vieux-Montréal. The committee is also supported by the Ministère du Tourisme du Québec. The 2012 cruise season should generate about $14 million in economic benefits.

For more information on cruising to or from Montreal and Quebec as well as New England call The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

Latest Great Lakes Small Ship Advertisement for “World of Cruising”: Blount Small Ship Adventures and Travel Dynamics International

Detroit Opens A New Cruise Terminal For Great Lakes Cruising

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Later this month, the Detroit-Wayne County Port Authority will open its new Public Dock and Terminal, to be called Port Detroit. This new $22 million facility will be available for use by cruise ships, visiting naval vessels, tall ships and perhaps even by a new ferry service to Windsor, Ontario, across the Detroit River in Canada. The last ferries disappeared with the opening of the present bridge.
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Part of a 5½-mile redevelopment of the whole Detroit waterfront, called River Walk, in addition to customs and border patrol facilities for the clearance of incoming cruise ships the 30,000-square foot Public Dock and Terminal will house new offices for the port authority.

The Grande Mariner, owned by Blount Small Ship Adventures, seen here in the Detroit River

Blount Small Ship Adventures will be the terminal’s first cruise customer, with its 96-berth Grande Mariner making two calls next month. Blount have introduced two new itineraries recently, between New York and Toronto and between Toronto and Georgian Bay. Another cruise line newcomer, Travel Dynamics International of New York, is planning six departures and six arrivals at Detroit between June and September of 2012 with their 138-guest US-flag Yorktown, handling a dozen passenger lists to and from Chicago, Duluth and Quebec City. The Yorktown (below) was last in the Great Lakes when she worked for Clipper Cruise Lines as the Yorktown Clipper .

And there will be others. The largest ship to cruise the Great Lakes in recent years has been Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ 14,903-ton Columbus, which first came into the Great Lakes in 1997. In 2012, she will be taken over by Plantours & Partner of Bremen, to become their MS Hamburg and it is hoped that she will return to the Great Lakes under her new name in 2013. Two other operators from Europe have also been examining the Great Lakes as a new destination for them.
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To learn more about cruising in the Great Lakes and St Lawrence River call The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.