Fred. Olsen ship approaches the portA member of the Saint Lawrence Cruise Association, Trois-Rivières kept a low-profile until 2010, had its first call in 2012 with Fred. Olsen Cruise Line, and will now welcome 17 ships in 2015.

Ten of those visits will be from the Saint Laurent (Haimark). The port will also welcome Oceania for the first time, and Fred. Olsen will return after their inaugural visit in 2012.

In town, the big news is 20 Cirque du Soleil summer performances, part of a three-year contract.

Director of Tourism Yolaine Masse explained changes were coming pier-side, where a temporary tent used for welcoming passengers will be scuttled in place of a converted office, which will turn into an indoor/outdoor pavilion.

Besides tourist information, the welcome includes some 15 vendors offering free food and wine tastings and complimentary postcards and postage.

Within five to six hours of sailing time to Quebec and Montreal, Masse said ships are staying later into the night than ever before.

“We have been putting together evening shore excursions for the cruise lines,” she noted. “The Silver Whisper stayed until 11 p.m last year. We had never done a call that late before.”

Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Winter 2014/2015