Montreal Port Authority Kicks Off 2024 Cruise Season

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The Port of Montreal has officially begun its 2024 cruise season, marked by the arrival of Holland America’s Volendam on May 4, 2024. The season, running through October 28, is expected to bring in approximately 50,000 passengers through 41 planned operations, including nine calls and 32 boardings and disembarkations.

This year, nine cruise ships will make their maiden voyage to Montreal, including Volendam, the largest ship of the season with the capacity to accommodate 1,440 passengers and calling on the city nine times.

Montreal Port Authority-2024 cruise season kicks off at the Port
Yves Gilson (left), associate director of cruises for the Port of Montreal, and Laurentius Oscar van Eerten, the Captain of Volendam. (Photo Courtesy: CNW Group/Montreal Port Authority)

Additionally, Regent Seven Seas’ 750-passenger Grandeur, British cruise line Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ 1,320-passenger Borealis, and Oceania Cruises’ 750-passenger Nautica will also contribute greatly to the port’s passenger count.

Julie Gascon, president and CEO of the Port of Montreal, expressed enthusiasm about the new season, saying, “This new cruise season reflects Montreal’s appeal as a world-class tourist destination. We are so very proud to offer an outstanding reception area with the Grand Quay and the Port of Montreal Tower, which have become iconic symbols for our city’s tourism.”

Montreal Welcomes First-Time Visitors and Celebrates Milestones in the 2024 Cruise Season

Other notable first-timers visiting Montreal this season include Villa Vie Odyssey, a residential ship sailing the world’s first “perpetual” cruise; World Explorer, which focuses on adventure experiences; two French-owned Ponant ships, Champlain and Lyrial; and Azamara Cruises’ Azamara Journey, which is returning to Montreal after an eight-year hiatus.

The port is presenting plaques to each vessel making its first port of call. The plaques were designed by Manon Sioui, a member of the Huron-Wendat Nation who won a contest to redesign the traditional plaque earlier this year.

“All Aboard” is designed to resemble a sea turtle, representing America to Sioui’s tribe, with symbols illustrating the port and Montreal, the area’s nautical history, and Canada and its Indigenous People.

Read Also: Quebec’s Cruise Season Kicks Off, 46 Ships Scheduled to Arrive

The season will also celebrate milestones that represent major cruise line loyalty to the Port of Montreal. Regent Seven Seas, for example, will bring its 25,000th passenger aboard Grandeur during its September 19 arrival.

Meanwhile, Viking Cruises will celebrate its 30,000th passenger to Montreal aboard Viking Neptune on September 27, and Oceania will bring its 40,000th passenger aboard Nautica on October 6.

Port of Montreal
Port of Montreal (Photo Credit: Denis Roger)

“Every spring, we can’t wait to see the first cruise ship of the season get here. It marks the start of an exciting time for tourism in Montreal,” added Yves Lalumiere, president and CEO, Tourisme Montreal. “As the gateway to the Americas, Montreal is a must-see destination on the St. Lawrence River. Tourism Montreal is proud to collaborate with this sector, creating significant economic benefits for the restaurant owners and merchants of Old Montreal.”

Following Volendam’s arrival to the charming French-speaking city in the Quebec province this month are Ocean Navigator and Europa 2. The season remains slow until September, when fall foliage tours begin in Canada. During that month, Viking Cruises’ Mars and Neptune, Seabourn’s Quest, the Conti Group’s Hamburg, Windstar Cruises’ Star Pride, Regent Seven Seas’ Grandeur, and Oceania Cruises’ Insignia will visit.

Fred Olsen and Azamara join in October, along with Oceania’s Nautica. Montreal’s season will conclude with Oceania’s Insignia and Nautica both departing on October 28.

Despite Port of Montreal’s strong 2024 season, this year’s numbers indicate the port will not break last year’s record-breaking season. In 2023, the port welcomed 50 ships and 51,000 passengers, marking a 33% increase in cruise activity.

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