Montreal: the cruise season is on

Montréal: the cruise season is launched

Taxi drivers, bartenders, butlers, among others, have prepared for the launch of the cruise season, in the Port of Montreal. Nearly 1,500 passengers boarded the Holland America Line Zaandam on Saturday for a seven-day sea trip to Boston.

There will be as many tourists aboard the ship when it returns to the city, enough to stimulate the Montreal economy. The season, which will end next October, will have a total of 51 visits, 5 more than last year. There will be 38 embarkation and disembarkation operations as well as 13 stopovers. This will generate economic spinoffs in the order of $25 million in Montreal.

“We will slowly resume the pre-pandemic level,” said Port of Montreal spokesperson Mélanie Nadeau. Nearly 50,000 international cruise passengers are expected to pass through the Port, about 20% more than last year.

Cut the engine for the planet

The Zaandam, this big ocean liner 237 m long, entered the Port of Montreal without the roar of its engines. However, it was running at full speed, thanks to electrical connections powered by Hydro-Québec.

Since 2017, the Port of Montreal's Grand Quai has allowed cruise ships and wintering vessels to shut down their engines when moored. This enables them to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by an average of five tonnes with each connection. A total of eight different ships from the Holland-America, Regent Seven Seas, Hapag-Lloyd and Viking cruise lines will be able to connect.

Montreal is the only Port on the St. Lawrence and one of 25 in the world to offer electrical shore connection for six years.

We bet that the industry would follow and it's starting.

Mélanie Nadeau, spokesperson for the Port of Montreal

 “In addition to generating major economic benefits for the city , the cruise industry is therefore a tourism sector in full evolution towards a better energy efficiency balance and more sustainable practices ,” said the President and CEO of the Montreal Port Authority (MPA), Martin Imbleau.

With less GHGs and less noise pollution as well, tourists in the Old Port will be able to walk around and eat in peace. “We are particularly enthusiastic about the installations of electrical connections on the quay; this is excellent news for the harmonious destination that we are!”, rejoices the President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal, Yves Lalumière.

Fewer visitors than 'in Quebec

Despite its reputation and its ability to attract, the metropolis receives fewer visitors at a time by boat due to the limitation of shipping lanes on the St. Lawrence River. The bridges over the channel between Quebec and Montreal do not allow large boats of 3,000 to 4,000 passengers to reach Montreal. These vessels exceed 47 meters in height, which is the height of bridges over waterways.

In Montreal we will never have big boats, however if we look at the list of ships that come to Montreal, we have the cream. Luxury ships.

Yves Gilson, director of cruises at the Port of Montreal

“We are positioning ourselves for luxury cruise ships and the type of passengers these ships bring spend a lot in the city,” he adds.


A total of five ships will visit Montreal for the first time this season: Hapag-Lloyd's Hanseatic Inspiration (230 passengers); the Oceania Vista (1,200 passengers); Peace Boat's Pacific World (1,950 passengers), the largest number of tourists at the same time, and Viking Ocean Cruises' Viking Neptune and Viking Mars (930 passengers each).

Note that the ship The World, whose last visit dates back to 2015, will be in Montreal from September 25 to 27. The particularity of this 165-cabin ship is that passengers own their spaces. It's like having a condo, but on the sea! -est-lanceacutee-facff11.jpg” alt=”Montréal: the cruise season has begun” />

The MPA honored a regular at the Port: Holland-America Line . Piloted by Captain Ane Smit, of Dutch origin and employee of Holland-America Line for 23 years, the Zaandam is the first cruise ship at the Port of Montreal in 2023.

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