ST. LAWRENCE RIVER PORTS PREDICT CRUISE VISITS WILL DOUBLE BY 2011
In Canada’s east, ports are primed
By Johanna Jainchill
England cruises from New York
and Boston, particularly in autumn when lines offer fall foliage
Canada/New England cruising is nowhere near as popular
as destinations such as the Caribbean, which according to CLIA
SAGUENAY, Quebec — The
cruise ports along Canada’s St.
Lawrence River expect to more
than double their cruise passenger
visits between 2008 and 2011, according to Cruise the Saint Lawrence, the regional port
Thanks to an investment of $137 million,
which went to infrastructure improvements at
six of the smallest ports
along the St. Lawrence,
and for marketing for
its larger ones such as
Montreal and Quebec
City, the nine ports along
the St. Lawrence predict
315,500 passengers during the 2011 cruise season.
This year, 185,452 pas-
sengers are expected to
visit the region.
Quebec Minister of
Tourism Nicole Menard said at a
dinner here that the government
aimed to make the St. Lawrence “a
major cruise destination.”
She noted that while visits from
the U.S. overall have fallen significantly since the events of 9/11,
the cruise industry continued to
Canada’s eastern ports get their
share of calls on Canada/New
the investment being made by
Canada’s federal government, the
province of Quebec and local authorities was translating into not
only doubling passenger counts
at some ports but creating cruise
markets where there were none as
recently as last year.
on the fjord of the same
name, is one of the main
beneficiaries of the investment.
The area’s cruise ship
berth was constructed last
year to the tune of $29.7
cruise pavilion is still
under construction and
scheduled to open in early September.
An additional $13.2
million will be invested
in the next year to create
a commercial area by the
Saguenay will receive
27,500 cruise passengers this year,
up from 11,000 in 2008.
Officials expect that figure to
climb to 34,000 cruise passengers
The growth this year is being
driven by two Holland American
Line ships, the Maasdam and the
Eurodam, as well as visits from
Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises
and Norwegian Cruise Line.
PORTS ALONG THE ST. LAWRENCE
Havre St. Pierre
Iles de la Madeleine
recorded nearly 31 million bed-days in 2008.
But it has been steadily increasing over the past few years; bed-days jumped 17% in 2008, to 1. 9
During the 2009 Canada New
England Cruise Symposium,
which was held here in Saguenay
last week, representatives from
Quebec’s small ports said that
St. Kitts, Anguilla focus on stayover market
By Gay Nagle Myers
NEW YORK — The slippage in
stayover visitors this year is a statistical nightmare for the Caribbean region, where most destinations are grappling with negative
growth and diminished revenues.
So what’s to be done?
Two tourism ministers attending the recent Caribbean Week
events here shared their thoughts.
Anguilla’s Victor Banks, who
also serves as minister of finance,
economic development, investment and commerce, said that
“the key is to remain as aggressive
as possible. We can’t afford not
to be in the game, and we cannot
ride the tide.”
In a separate interview, St. Kitts
Minister of Tourism, Sports and
the Environment Ricky Skerritt
agreed, adding that converting his
island’s growing cruise market to
returning land-based vacationers
figures high on his priority list.
Cruise arrivals on St. Kitts are
expected to approach the half-million mark in the 2009-2010
season, an 18% increase over the
However, Skerritt has seen a
falloff in spending by cruise passengers, which has led to the temporary closing of some shops in
the Port Zante complex.
The luxury market continues
to hold fairly steady in Anguilla,
helped along by a new air service
and a strong resort product, said
In St. Kitts, the stall in the once-anticipated shift to the up-market
has led tourism officials and hoteliers “to readjust targets, discount
rates to keep occupancies decent
and push the value-added element
in hotel packages,” Skerritt said.
Delta will add a second weekly
nonstop from Atlanta to St. Kitts
on Dec. 23, which Skerritt said
“demonstrates Delta’s confidence
in our tourism product.”
St. Kitts also is served by American from New York Kennedy and
Miami; US Airways from Charlotte, N.C.; and American Eagle
from San Juan.
Although bulldozers have
ground to a halt on many islands, the Christophe Harbour
project on St. Kitts’ southeastern
peninsula remains on track. The
site will include an 18-hole golf
course, a megayacht marina and
the 125-room Mandarin Oriental
Also, construction has resumed
at the Ocean’s Edge residential
development on St. Kitts’ Frigate
Bay, where financing problems
earlier this year had forced a temporary halt.
On Anguilla, the reopening of
Cap Juluca last December following a $22 million upgrade by
its new owner, industry veteran
Adam Aron, helped jump-start
the winter season.
The upgrade marked the first
phase of an $80 million makeover
of the resort’s 18 Moorish-style
“Cap Juluca led the way for us
this past winter, and the momentum has carried through,” Banks
said. “June occupancies are in the
80% range, it looks like July will
hit the 70% mark.”