On the St. Lawrence, the local community in Baie-Comeau has rallied around the cruise industry.
“We just had a great season, sales for tours were up,” said Karine Blais, cruise coordinator, adding that local merchants were adding more promotions and signage targeted at cruise guests.
The top shore excursion is a visit to the Lumberjack Village and this year a new microbrewery is set to open, which will be part of the excursion offering for cruise passengers.
For 2017, Blais expects a bigger season and said 2018 is looking even better. The port offers a dock and terminal that is capable of hosting big ships, and for double-call days, there is a nearby anchorage.
The destination’s 24 welcome guides go through an annual familiarization program with local shops and restaurants.
“They educate us, it’s good for both sides,” added Blais. New for 2017 will be a 50-hour tour guide training program at the local college. The course will cover the basics, including guiding the group, bus tours, walking tours, and educating students on the history of the area and its attractions.
Blais said the goal was to do better each year, pointing out they had recently added significant passenger signage around the area to guide passengers while also showing them distances to attractions.
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