Cruise Ship Visitors Have a New Attraction to Enjoy at Canadian Port

The Port of Montreal opens its new tower to the public, which is also a new attraction for cruise passengers to enjoy.

The Montreal Port Authority will soon take the wraps off its new Port of Montreal Tower, a 214-foot-tall glass structure that will offer panoramic views of the city and the Saint Lawrence River, adding another major attraction that cruise guests can visit in the Canadian destination.

The project was three years in the making and signals the end of a major renovation of the port’s Iberville Passenger Terminal at Alexandra Pier.

Glass Tower Will Open to Public on May 27

The newly built Port of Montreal Tower will open for the first time to visitors on the weekend of May 27-28, giving cruise guests and other visitors the opportunity to view the cityscape and the Saint Lawrence River from a height of nearly 200 feet.

The Montreal Port Authority announced the grand opening on May 16, saying that admission to the attraction will be free during its first open weekend. Intended as a symbolic reminder of the lighthouses that played historical roles in navigation, the Port of Montreal Tower, which reaches 214 feet, has plenty to entertain visitors.

Montreal Tower
Montreal Tower (Photo Credit: Port of Montreal)

In addition to the spectacular views from the tower’s observation deck, visitors can explore 18 educational and entertainment areas, each focusing on Montreal’s festivals and culture, the Montreal Canadiens, the port itself, and other events and landmarks.

More than a dozen viewfinders showcase various points of interest in Montreal, and high-tech and interactive lighting and sound productions are also part of the tower’s offerings.

Thrill-seekers will want to climb a golden spiral stairway to the tower’s 15th floor – about 180 feet above ground level – to enter a glass cage with unparalleled views of land and water. (Elevators, which are wheelchair accessible, are available in the tower but do not extend to the glass cage.)

Montreal Tower
Montreal Tower (Photo Credit: Port of Montreal)

“With the Port of Montreal Tower, from now on visitors will have an incredible view of the city and our river. It’s a major attraction that enhances the city’s tourism offering. This new way to take in Montreal and the river will give Quebecers and our visitors, especially cruise passengers, a unique experience that will be etched in their memories,said Caroline Proulx, Minister of Tourism and Minister Responsible for the Lanaudière Region.

Other activities inside the tower include several art installations and an interactive musical program that lets visitors create their own port symphony based on recordings of the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal.

Tower Is Part of a Broader Redevelopment

According to Martin Imbleau, port authority president and CEO, the tower is an example of opening port space and transforming it into a public space.

In addition to the tower, the redevelopment of the port area now features green spaces such as a large vegetated terrace where cruisers and others can observe cruise ships and other vessels plying the Saint Lawrence, and a grassy lawn at the water’s edge.

Cruise Ship in Montreal, Canada
Photo Credit: Firefighter Montreal / Shutterstock

Further improvements are planned for the Montreal port. In February 2023, port officials announced a new five-year investment of $335 million that will fund various initiatives to develop and maintain port infrastructure, and accelerate the decarbonization of port activities, among other goals. 

Montreal is a major port that, along with Quebec City and several smaller destinations along the Saint Lawrence, welcome cruise ships from spring through mid-fall.

In 2023, the Port of Montreal expects a total of 51 ships to visit, bringing at least 45,000 international passengers to its shores. Thirty-eight ships are scheduled to embark or disembark guests, and 13 other ships will make port calls.

The cruise industry in Montreal this year will generate an estimated $25 million in economic impact. Port activity overall, including a large cargo operation, supports 19,000 jobs and generates $2.6 billion in economic benefits annually.

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