Quebec City handled six ships, in addition to the not-in-service Veendam, and more than 20,000 passengers in stride on October 3, highlighting what good communication between a port authority and a city can do.
Planning started in February for the port’s multi-ship days in 2014, according to Nancy Houley, cruise market director for the port.
“We worked closely with the city,” she said, “we had a forum in February where we said that the cruise business is growing and it was going to be a tough logistics year, that we needed to make sure people could circulate well.”
That resulted in a plan for four-ship/10,000 passenger days that saw the city add 29 police officers to manage traffic.
“We did that on five days in 2014,” Houley said. “We used the city’s expertise and our coordination.”
2014 provided the longest cruise season ever, stretching from early May to November 12, with the last call from Plantours’ Hamburg.
The Legend of the Seas did turn-arounds in Quebec, running a Saint Lawrence route. Local sourcing meant the port had to deal with more drive-to passengers than ever before.
“On a logistical side we were figuring out where to put all the cars,” said Houley, who again worked closely with the city to find more parking spaces. “It was a change in demographics.”
The port celebrated its one millionth passenger on October 10 and its 2002-built terminal could be due for an upgrade to handle the ever-increasing size of ships.
“The high-end period (fall foliage) is a challenge here,” Houley continued. “There are three weekends that are crazy and we have to adapt. We are fortunate to be able to work closely with the city. The business is important to all of us and we need to invest in it.”