Port of Montreal to Expand Cruise Infrastructure 

The Port of Montreal is investing over $335 million in new infrastructure, including shore power upgrades for cruise ships.

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The Port of Montreal is looking to invest heavily in its infrastructure on the Island of Montreal, with a new five-year investment plan that will earmark over $335 million.

The investment includes installing shore power for cruise ships. The cruise terminal is a significant part of the port’s operations and has been a popular destination for cruise lines since its opening.

The investments are necessary to help consolidate the Port of Montreal’s status as a trading platform at the heart of the strategic St. Lawrence corridor, to support the energy transition, and to promote good relationships with the neighboring community. 

Port of Montreal to Improve Infrastructure

Cruise ships visit Montreal for many reasons, including its prime location and rich cultural offerings. Montreal is located on the St. Lawrence River, an important waterway for shipping and trade.

As a result, the city has a long history of welcoming visitors from around the world. The city’s rich history, cultural diversity, and vibrant arts scene make it an ideal destination for tourists, including those who arrive on cruise ships.

However, with trade and cruise ship traffic increasing, the port has announced significant improvements to the port area.

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

A new five-year investment will earmark $335+ million towards various initiatives that sustainably develop and maintain port infrastructure, strengthen, optimize, and streamline the Greater Montreal supply chain, and accelerate the decarbonization of port activities and the energy transition. 

One improvement that will be welcomed by visitors to the city, as well as locals that live nearby the port areas, are recent projects to improve the city-port interface, such as creating a landscaped embankment 8.5 meters tall on Notre-Dame to minimize any visual and noise impacts of port activities and planting 2,000 trees.

The Port of Montreal also aims to invest $10 million in projects to improve how logistics activities coexist with the urban environment.

Martin Imbleau, President and Chief Executive Officer of the MPA: “We want to invest in the future of the supply chain from the east end of Montreal for its sustainability, efficiency, and harmonious integration into the urban fabric. Our biggest challenge will be decarbonizing our economy and the supply chain. Transportation is the largest emitter of GHGs in Quebec, and the stats aren’t getting any better! 

Energy Transition & Shore Power

One of the most important investments is accelerating the port’s decarbonization and increasing the speed at which the energy transition occurs. 

“Our responsibility as a player in this industry is indispensable. The east end of Montreal offers great opportunities. It was the cradle of port activities. It can and must support supply-chain decarbonization,” Martin Imbleau continued.

The port will be investing significantly into providing cruise ships with the possibility of using shore power while in port. One of the leading environmental benefits of shore power is reducing air pollution.

Cruise Ship in Montreal
Photo Credit: Firefighter Montreal / Shutterstock

When cruise ships are docked, they usually keep their engines running to generate electricity for the ship’s operations. 

This can produce significant amounts of air pollution. Cruise ships can reduce their emissions by using shore power and contribute to a cleaner environment. It will also help the cruise industry reach its 2050 goal of becoming a net-zero carbon industry.

Shore power can also help reduce operating costs for cruise lines. When ships are docked, they can use shore power to generate electricity, which is cheaper than their own generators. This can lead to significant savings in fuel costs and maintenance expenses for cruise lines.

Cruise Ships Visiting Montreal

Montreal is not the busiest cruise port in the world, yet, the port still expects to have 43 cruise ship calls this year from the fourteen cruise ships scheduled to visit Montreal. This is slightly less than the 16 ships which made 45 visits during the 2022 season.

The first cruise ship scheduled to visit Montreal is the ms Zaandam in April of this year. Other ships scheduled to visit Montreal this year include the Seabourn Quest, Seven Seas Navigator, Phoenix Amera, Viking Star, Star Pride, Viking Mars, Seven Seas Mariner, Oceania’s Vista, Ambassador Cruise Line’s Ambience, Oceania’s Insignia, and ms Europa.

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