The Saint Lawrence cruise region is an emerging cruise market with the Province of Québec investing a significant amount of money for infrastructure and development. The strategy was launched in 2008 and involved 9 ports along the Saint Lawrence. Direct spending has increased from $77.5 Million in 2007 to $154 Million in 2012. The region also welcomed 230,000 cruise ship passengers and 90,000 crew members in 2012. As well, a significant amount has been earmarked to ensure the continuation of the Cruise Strategy Assistance Program. This program allows Tourism Québec to prioritize support for tourism infrastructure initiatives in six ports-of-call which welcome international cruise ships: Baie-Comeau, Gaspésie, Havre-Saint Pierre, Îles de la Madeleine, Saguenay and Sept- Îles.
The focus on developing infrastructure and tourism experiences along the Saint Lawrence offers great opportunities for Indigenous communities. In partnership with Québec Aboriginal Tourism and Parks Canada, there are options for entrepreneur and organizations to develop and provide authentic cultural tourism experiences to the cruise passengers. The introduction of Indigenous tourism products in this region may also be easier as the cruise lines have smaller groups thus making it easier to service. Existing tourism providers can take advantage of extending their regular tourism season by working with the region’s cruise lines that gear towards nature and the fall foliage/seasonal colours which are on display until early November.
These are typically 7 or 10-day one-way cruises that sail between Montréal or Québec City and a north-eastern US port and are often an extension of Canada / New England cruises. These cruises ordinarily make port calls in the Province of Québec, including Montréal or Québec City, plus another port in Québec, and 3 port calls at Atlantic Canada ports. The region also has cruise ship visits to the Gaspésie that could be part of a Canada / New England itinerary, or a voyage further along the Saint Lawrence River. In addition, this cruise region participates in itineraries involving the Great Lakes cruise market.
Note: only ports that provide current or future Indigenous tourism opportunities have been reviewed and analyzed.
Average Vessel Size