In the wake of demonstrated interest by the international cruise industry in the wonders of winter in ports of call across Québec, Cruise the Saint Lawrence (CSL) is spearheading an initiative to promote the development of winter explorer cruises for adventure travellers in search of authentic Nordic experiences. CSL is indeed set to market the merits of the winter season with an inaugural familiarization tour in mid-February.
As trends in travel substantiate a marked interest in cruise destinations such as the Arctic and Antarctic, Québec’s brand of Nordic experience features a singular blend of bracing outdoor and vibrant urban possibilities.
Three international cruise line and one trade media representatives will be setting off to discover what winter has to offer in Montréal, Trois-Rivières, Québec and Saguenay. Program activities include urban discovery tours, ice skating, tobogganing, a taste of Carnaval de Québec and the city’s famed ice hotel, dog sledding, skidooing and ice fishing. The tourism supply of those ports of call not on the program schedule will also be presented to participants, with topics covered to include an insight into Inuit culture in winter, baby seal observation on the ice floes off the Iles de la Madeleine and skiing in the Chic-Choc mountains of the Gaspé Peninsula.
Navigating the Saint Lawrence, Saguenay Fjord and Gulf of Saint Lawrence in winter can present challenges for cruise operators. Officials from Transport Canada, local port administrations, Canadian Coast Guard, Laurentian Pilotage Authority and other relevant authorities will therefore be taking part in an information session detailing technical requirements and services available to ensure ship and passenger safety.
The upcoming ground tour represents a first, not only for Québec but also for the entire Canada New England region. During the tour, winter offerings will be outlined for each of Québec, Atlantic Canada, the coast of Maine, Boston and New York. Participants will be outfitted by Chlorophylle, a Québec-based manufacturer of upmarket outdoor gear for which the prospect of a winter cruise season comes ripe with commercial potential.
Cruise the Saint Lawrence is a sectoral organization which groups together the nine ports of call located along the shores of the Saint Lawrence River. The mission of the organization is to grow cruise market activities in Québec and across Destination Canada New England through the provision of marketing and development services to members. Cruise the Saint Lawrence enjoys the support of partners Tourism Québec, Québec Tourism Industry Alliance and Industry, Science and Economic Development Canada.