The Port of Montreal expects a steady increase in cruise passenger arrivals over the next two years, a port official said.

Montreal received 32,100 passengers from 25 cruise-ship calls in 2008, compared to 28,688 passengers from 29 ship calls in 2007, said President and CEO Patrice M. Pelletier. In 2009, the port expects 34,000 passengers and 28 cruise ships.

New callers in 2008 include the Royal Princess and the Vistamar; in 2009, the Clelia II and Balmoral will both make maiden calls.

“We are working closely with Tourism Montreal to develop strategies which will showcase Montreal as a preferred gateway for the cruise passenger business,” Pelletier said.

Montreal recently announced a $2.5 billion development plan entitled “Vision 2020,” which includes constructing a new passenger-cruise terminal.

“The construction of this new terminal would likely include recreational, artistic, cultural, and commercial components, and we would hope it would become a landmark site for Montreal,” Pelletier said. “We foresee Montreal as a preferred port of call, and are excited about the future and our plans for the new passenger terminal, which we believe will help to attract more cruise ships.”

The Port of Montreal’s Iberville Passenger Terminal currently offers a 1,175-foot berth, with a minimum depth of 33 feet. An additional 1,183-foot berth is also available across from the terminal.