The Port Quebec is expecting 90,000 passengers in 2009 – a 15 percent increase over 2008 – according to Martine Belanger, vice president, operations.

Nearly half of the visits will be turnarounds – compared to less than 30 percent this year, she said. “This is something we’ve been working on for the last six years,” Belanger noted. New callers will include the Crown Princess and the Costa Atlantica, both of which will be turning around in 2009. Belanger said that MSC Cruises is also being targeted as a future prospect. “We are looking at even more European cruise lines because of Quebec City’s European flair,” she said.

Quebec’s season is May through October, but the port has been starting earlier with calls from Holland America Line’s Maasdam, which Belanger said generates the most passenger traffic. Quebec received 67,000 passengers in 2007, is expecting 78,000 in 2008.