The Executive Committee of the Cruise Canada New England Alliance (CCNE) will release its 2017-2026 strategic plan at its annual gathering in Montreal this week, which brings together ports in the region along with cruise line decision makers and other key stakeholders.

The plan follows on an event held in New York in June of 2016, where 150 region players came together to outline the potential of the region and underscore a future strategy.

Among the key takeaways was the concept of making region a true summer destination for cruise ships, and to build a full season of stable traffic from April through October.

Currently, most ports see a surge of traffic in Canada/New England paired with fall foliage sailings, while a handful of cruise ships visit the area in the summer. This means tourism infrastructure must be ready to go for double and triple-ship days come September and October, but also may be sitting under-utilized the rest of the year.

Montreal Cruise Terminal Rendering

The Montreal Cruise Committee along with Cruise the Saint Lawrence have spearheaded this year's event, which coincides with the 375th anniversary of the founding of Montreal and the 150th anniversary of Canada. Later this year, the city will officially open its new state-of-the-art cruise terminal.

The event runs from June 13 to June 15, with June 13 seeing a cocktail hour and dinner, followed by a number of key panel discussions on the next day, opening with the CCNE 2026 discussion. There is also a port infrastructure discussion and a marketplace, allowing cruise lines and ports to meet with one another.

The next day, June 15, participants can look forward to CLIA's advanced itinerary planning workshop.

Across the region the trend is an increase of cruise traffic, but that increase is still growing slower than the overall cruise industry, according to market data available in the 2017-2018 Cruise Industry News Annual Report.

Among recent region news, the New York City Economic Development Corporation is moving its two terminals under one operating entity, which will lead to massive infrastructure investments in Manhattan and Brooklyn, the latter of which recently turned on its shore power system.

Further north, Boston has a solid cruise season underway and recently renamed its cruise terminal.

Disney Cruise Line will make its first ever visit to Quebec City in 2018, joining Windstar, which also recently announced its first-ever Canada/New England season, taking place in fall 2018.

A recent cruise booking trends report issued by J.P. Morgan noted Canada/New England pricing declines for Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line sailings, while most other key markets showed modest ticket price increases.

All that and much more will be on tap and heavily discussed in Montreal this week.