Gaspésie hosts the iconic Queen Mary 2. Photo: Duane Cabot

Gaspésie, one of the ports on the St. Lawrence, said it received 20,674 cruise passengers and just over 12,000 crew members to round off a strong 2016 season.

“The numbers speak for themselves, with a 15 percent increase in calls and a 18 percent increase in passengers,” said Stéphane Sainte-Croix, executive director of ESCALE GASPÉSIE.

He said shore excursion numbers were also up, and ships tended to stay in port longer, an average of 9.2 hours compared to 8.5 hours in 2015.

The economic benefit was around $2 million, according to Sainte-Croix.

In addition were a number of maiden calls, including the Europa 2, Mariner, Serenity, Regatta and Queen Mary 2.