Québec City Opens Second Brand New Cruise Terminal
Québec City | Photo: Destination Québec Cité
Located just minutes from Old Québec, a new cruise terminal at Port of Québec occupies nearly 100,000 sq. ft., making it the largest in Eastern Canada. This new strategic asset will benefit all cruises on the St. Lawrence River and has the space needed to accommodate the operations of larger ships. With it, the St. Lawrence can position itself as an alternative boarding point on Canada/New England routes departing from Boston or New York.
The leading port of call on the St. Lawrence
Québec City in Eastern Canada is the most popular stop on this route among tourists and cruise lines alike. In 2019, before the pandemic, 260,000 cruise passengers and crew members passed through the port. About 100 port calls are currently scheduled for 2022, 16 of which will include the arrival and departure of new passengers.
With a historic district recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Québec City receives international accolades year after year. Most recently, it was named the top port in the U.S. and Canada by Cruise Critic in 2019 and the top destination on the Canada/New England route by readers of Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine in the 2019 and 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards.
Cruise passengers make up 3% of the tourists and visitors who come to Québec City every year. While this may be a small percentage of the total number of tourists the city welcomes annually, cruisers are high-value travelers. Many take the opportunity to stay a few nights before or after their cruises and see more of Québec City. In 2019, the cruise industry generated about 55,000 overnight stays in the city. With the added stopovers, the capital city can expect over $100 million in spending from cruises and related activities.
THE CHALLENGES AHEAD
September and October are the busiest months for the cruise industry, but the Port of Québec and Destination Québec Cité are working to encourage cruise lines to extend their season and discover everything Québec City has to offer. There are tons of things to do in the summer, starting in June—particularly for families.
Funding the needs created every year by the arrival of these vessels also remains a priority issue. The flow of tourists and cruise passengers in Old Québec needs to be properly managed to avoid bottlenecks and keep life enjoyable for locals. A land mobility plan for cruise passengers is also under development to find sustainable transportation solutions, among other things. The tourism companies and partners involved in managing and welcoming cruises meet annually to take stock and see what can be improved. Representatives of local groups are always invited to attend these meetings.
AN ECO-FRIENDLY CHOICE?
Cruise lines were hit hard by the pandemic and are increasingly making efforts to reduce pollution by using alternative fuels and new technologies to filter emissions and cut down on their environmental impact. The success of the cruise industry depends on maintaining the well-being of its host communities and creating collective and sustainable value for all. We all want to contribute to the restoration and protection of the ecosystems that support the cruise industry, but to do so, we need better communication!
A number of companies are planning to start using shore power to reduce pollution. The Port of Québec is currently evaluating the possibilities in this regard.
When the first ships arrive in Québec City in 2022, after a two-year absence, it will be a symbol of victory against the pandemic. The public health standards on ships are more stringent than ever, and the return of Caribbean cruises is going even better than expected. Protocols for isolating cases of COVID-19 have been deployed on board as needed.
Let’s hope that Québec City will continue to offer the warmest welcome to cruisers, with docks full of people waving hello!
This post was sponsored by Destination Québec Cité