Cruise the Saint Lawrence has reported positive results for the 2011 international cruise season. For the period ended December 31st 2011, member Saint Lawrence ports of call welcomed a total of 195 494 passengers, which is to say 141,900 passengersd 53,594 crew members.

Of the 19 ships which operated on the Saint Lawrence, four made inaugural visits to our shores: Le Boréal (Compagnie des Îles du Ponant), Queen Elizabeth (Cunard Line), Seabourn Sojourn (Seabourn Cruise Line) and the Regatta (Oceania Cruises).

The international cruise industry generates substantial economic benefits for Québec. In 2010, these benefits totaled an estimated $86 million. Direct spending by cruise ships calling into port averaged $120.99, whereas direct visitor spending at destination amounted to $404.35. Québec is home to two (2) destination ports, namely Montréal and Québec where cruiseshippers embark and disembark (over 60 000 in 2011), and seven (7) intermediary ports of call: Trois‐Rivières, Saguenay, Baie‐Comeau, Sept‐Îles, Havre‐Saint‐Pierre, Gaspésie and Îles de la Madeleine.

Major developments at a number of ports of call were completed in 2011 under the government’s strategy for the sustainable development and promotion of international cruiseshipping on the Saint Lawrence. As a result, it was possible to consolidate port offerings while ensuring compliance with the highest of industry standards. In addition to providing for new port and greeting infrastructure, this strategy enhanced the overall tourist supply and made possible the implementation of a greeting policy the object of which was to boost service quality.

Backed by an aggregate budget of $156 million, the strategy is funded in equal measure by the Québec Ministry of Tourism, Canada Economic Development and local authorities. To date, over $109 million has been invested in the various Saint Lawrence ports of call.

Cruise the Saint Lawrence is a sectoral organization which groups together the nine ports of call located along the shores of the Saint Lawrence River. The mission of the Association is to position Destination Saint Lawrence clearly with cruise companies by defining and coordinating development efforts and partner/port of call attributes, the ultimate aim being to build a genuine ‘Cruise the Saint Lawrence’ brand.