The Marco Polo has returned to the Port of Quebec after a 50-year absence, last calling in the French-Canadian city when she was the Alexander Pushkin in April 1966.
Fifty years ago, the ship was sailing the Leningrad-Montréal route. This time around the ship was on a cruise from England and the port held an event with the Museum of Quebec to celebration the return of the vessel.
“It’s important for the Port to celebrate commemorative events that highlight the city of Québec’s marine heritage. I want to thank the Naval Museum of Québec, a true gold mine for Canadian marine history, as well as its director, André Kirouac, for helping us with this event,” said Mario Girard, President and CEO of the QPA.
“The arrival of the MS Marco Polo, formerly the Alexander Pushkin, makes us reminisce about the 1960s, as Canada was preparing to celebrate its 100th anniversary and our society was showing its openness to the world. Relationships were being forged between the world’s port cities, as evidenced by the gift the mayor of Leningrad sent to Mayor Lamontagne in 1966 when the Pushkin chose the Port of Québec as a privileged location for its first stop in Canada," stated André Kirouac of the Naval Museum of Québec.
The ship was back in the region with 678 passengers, part of a 34-day cruise from the UK.