Maasdam Makes 100th Call; Record 13,000 Passengers in One Day; Queen Victoria Calling; MSC Cruises Plans 2010 Turnarounds
Maasdam Makes 100th Call
The Quebec Port Authority (QPA) marked the 100th visit of its most loyal seagoing visitor, the ms Maasdam of the Holland America cruise ship line, on Sunday, September 27.
The cruise ship first tied up at Quebec City on September 11, 1999. Over the years, the ms Maasdam has provided 129,000 passengers the opportunity to discover Quebec City and its many attractions. For the occasion, representatives of the Port of Quebec and the marine agency Ramsey Greig & Co. Ltd. welcomed Captain Henrik Draper and his officers as well as Captain Darin William Bowland of the ms Eurodam, also in port that day.
Not content with being the first ship of the 2009 season, the ms Maasdam also carried the 500,000th passenger to arrive at the Port of Quebec since the opening of the terminal in 2002. “It is truly ms Maasdam’s year this year, and we are delighted to reward for her loyalty to our destination. Captain Draper received the honors at the beginning of the season and was once again at the wheel of the ms Maasdam for her 100th visit to the Port of Quebec,” noted QPA President and CEO Ross Gaudreault.
Holland America Line, which has been active in the international cruise market for the past 136 years, employs over 15,000 people on both land and sea. Every year the company makes some 500 trips to the seven continents. The ms Maasdam, for its part, cruises to Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, and New England.
Built in the Ficantieri shipyards in Italy at a cost of $215 million, she was launched in December 1993. The liner sails with 1,258 passengers and 580 crew members on board.
Record 13,000 Passengers in One Day
Friday, October 2 will be an historic day for international cruises at the Port of Quebec. Over a period of 48 hours, over 13,000 cruise passengers will make Quebec City their point of departure or arrival.
Three large ships will tie up for the first time in Quebec City: the Princess Cruise line’s Crown Princess, the Norwegian Spirit of the Norwegian Cruise Line, and Costa Atlantica, belonging to Costa Cruises. These three vessels will make Quebec City their point of departure or arrival for a number of itineraries. Weighing in at 116,000 tons gross tonnage, the Crown Princess is the largest member of the Princess Cruises fleet to visit the Port of Quebec. Arriving at their final destination after a ten-day cruise from New York, some 3,000 passengers will have the leisure to discover all the charms Quebec’s capital city has to offer. Nearly as many passengers will embark in turn for a trip to New York.
The Norwegian Spirit will put its particular stamp on Quebec City’s international cruise experience by landing and embarking its passengers in only 12 hours. This 1,800 passenger vessel, linking Boston to Quebec City, will be berthed at Pier 103 because the cruise ship terminal at Pointe-à-Carcy will already be occupied by the Crown Princess.
The Port of Quebec is also very proud to welcome the Costa Atlantica of the cruise ship line Costa Cruises. Sailing the waters of the St. Lawrence for the first time in 2009, this Italian company chose Quebec City as the final destination of tts 17 day cruise from Italy. Over 2,000 travelers finish their cruise in Quebec City, while the same number will board the ship for a seven-day cruise to New York. The Costa Atlantica will be moored at the Quai de la Reine pier (Canadian Coast Guard) on October 2 before transferring to Pier 103 (Anse au Foulon) for the rest of its stay in Quebec City and departing at 5:00 p.m. on October 4.
“I am very excited to see how central Quebec City is becoming to the planning of international cruise ship lines. The fact that the Norwegian Cruise Line, Costa Cruise Line, and Princess Cruises has made the Port of Quebec the point of departure and arrival for their itineraries proves that the Quebec Port Authority is able to welcome and meet the expectations of the biggest cruise ship lines in the world. Everything is in place to delight the 13,000 passengers who will pass through Quebec City this weekend. It is very promising for the future,” added QPA President and CEO Ross Gaudreault.
After rolling out the red carpet for the majestic liner Queen Mary II a little over five years ago, this October 4 and 5 the Port of Québec will have the honor of welcoming the latest vessel of the renowned Cunard cruise ship line for the first time since its launch— the Queen Victoria.
Construction on the Queen Victoria started in 2005, and the ship was launch in 2007, making her the fleet’s youngest active member. She has a gross tonnage of over 90,000 tons and is nearly 300 meters long.
The Port of Québec has been welcoming Cunard transatlantic cruise ships for years, including the Queen Elizabeth II in the 1970s and other vessels even earlier. In 2004 Quebec City was the first Canadian port of call of the Cunard liner Queen Mary II. “The Port of Quebec is delighted to see this new member of the Cunard fleet visiting Quebec City,” noted QPA President and CEO Ross Gaudreault.
The Queen Victoria is due to arrive at 9:00 a.m. on October 4 at the Canadian Coastguard pier. “As the Crown Princess will be moored at the cruise ship terminal, it will be impossible for the Queen Victoria to dock at Pointe-à-Carcy. Instead of viewing the ship at Pointe-à-Carcy, the public can admire her from Dufferin Terrace,” added Ross Gaudreault.
The Queen Victoria’s voyage started in Southampton in the United Kingdom 17 days ago. Once in Quebec City, the 3,000 passengers and crew members will have Sunday and Monday to explore the city’s tourist attractions before the ship’s departure at 5:00 p.m. on October 5. The Queen Victoria will stop in St. John’s, Newfoundland, before making its return voyage to Southampton, thus ending an exceptional 25 day cruise.
MSC Cruises Plans 2010 Turnarounds
The Québec Port Authority (QPA) today announced that MSC Cruises would be coming to Québec City for the first time ever in September 2010 for three turnaround cruises.
A new player in the international cruise industry, this Italian line will be débuting in the North American market in fall 2010. “This is an exciting new announcement for the Port of Québec. We’re on a real roll and we hope that MSC Cruises will attract the attention of local residents and get them to leave on a cruise right from home,” said Port Authority CEO Ross Gaudreault. The 3,013 passenger MSC Poesia will sail the St. Lawrence from New York to Quebec City six times in 2010.
Québec City Tourism (QCT) and its director also welcomed the news for the Québec City area tourism industry. “Québec City’s growth on the international cruise market attracts large numbers of tourists to the area. We will continue to work with the Port of Québec to optimize our promotional efforts,” noted QCT director Gabriel Savard, adding that cruise ship passengers often come back to Québec City after discovering it on their cruise. MSC Cruises is the newest and fastest-growing cruise ship line in the industry, with a fleet of ten ships to which a brand new vessel will be added in early 2010. The private concern is noted for its unique itineraries, fabulous on-board entertainment, and Mediterranean cuisine featuring Italian specialties. Children 17 and under sail free.
MSC Cruises, which holds nearly 17% of the European market, is the only privately owned international cruise ship line. It belongs to the Mediterranean Shipping Company, a noted container operator. At present MSC Cruises is mainly active in Europe (83%) but is also present in South America (12%). The line is also known for its over 30 local offices around the world designed to keep it in direct touch with customers.
MSC Cruises is the second big Italian cruise ship line to enter the Canada–New England market, after Costa Cruises in fall 2009. “The arrival of this new player, MSC Cruises, is a result of the expertise we have acquired over the years as well as the support and flexibility we offer all our customers, in addition to the appeal of our destination,” mentioned Mr. Gaudreault.