THE PORT OF QUÉBEC WELCOMES THE HOLLAND AMERICA'S 150TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE CRUISE
Quebec City, September 1st, 2023 – In the midst of the international cruise season, the Port of Québec welcomes today a cruise celebrating Holland America Line's 150th anniversary. The company is the first cruise line to have made Quebec City its significant home port for more than 20 years. The company links New York and Boston to Quebec City along the Canada-New England route and is a pioneer in cruise activity outside the Fall peak season, with ports of call as early as May.
This year, more than 30,000 passengers will dock in Quebec City on Holland America Line ships, making it one of the Port of Québec's most important partners. Holland America Line has also paved the way for other major cruise lines to include this destination in their itineraries.
“We are delighted to welcome today passengers from the Zuiderdam cruise ship as well as Captain Bart Vaartjes. This is a unique moment for Holland America Line as it celebrates its 150th anniversary, quite a historical event! This is a unique opportunity to highlight the strong bond between Quebec City and the company, built up over more than 100 years. We would like to thank Holland America Line for placing its trust in Quebec City and the St. Lawrence River. We look forward to continuing this partnership for many years to come,” says Mario Girard, President and CEO of the Port of Québec.
A lasting relationship since 1910
The relationship between Quebec City and Holland America Line goes back a long way. While it was a cargo company based in the Netherlands, the ship Zaandijk visited Quebec City for the first time on May 14, 1910. The company's first cruise ship, the Veendam, docked in Quebec City on August 11, 1937. At that time, Quebec City was one of the main gateways for immigration to Canada, and the company played an important role in bringing hundreds of people to the country. The first ship of the company to carry immigrants was the Volendam, which arrived in Quebec City on June 21, 1948.
“As we celebrate our 150th anniversary and the 113th year visiting Quebec City, we are pleased to be able to mark the occasion with our friends and partners of the Port of Québec, Destination Québec cite, and other local stakeholders,” said Gus Antorcha, President of Holland America Line. “Since our first port of call, the Port of Quebec has played a role in Holland America Line's success, serving as the gateway to Canada and beyond for many travellers. Quebec City is in fact the most popular port for Holland America Line customers around the world. We look forward to continue visiting it in the coming years.”
Quebec City, a popular destination for cruise passengers
Quebec City is the most important cruise port on the St. Lawrence River, accommodating more than 140,000 passengers in 2023 and being the only city where every cruise ship makes a port of call on the entire St. Lawrence River. Besides being a UNESCO-recognized destination and a popular destination for cruise passengers, Quebec City stands out as a leader in managing growth and traffic.
The Port of Quebec has been limiting the number of passengers and cruise ships visiting Quebec City since 2014. Each day, a maximum of 15,000 passengers can dock at the port, and no more than four ships can be berthed at the same time. This practice, which was groundbreaking at the time it was introduced in North America, was agreed with all the stakeholders involved to ensure the best possible experience for both cruise passengers and locals. As a renowned port of call and boarding and disembarking hub, the port welcomes the biggest cruise lines and ranks among the most satisfactory destinations for passengers.
“Cruises play an important role in Quebec City, connecting its rich and diverse history to the rest of the world. By marking 150 years of Holland America Line, we are celebrating much more than just sailing: we are honouring an unbreakable bond between this iconic city and travellers from all over the world. Cruises are symbols of exchange and discovery and have shaped the Quebec City region into a must-see destination, bringing together the past and the future along the St. Lawrence River,” says Robert Mercure, General Manager of Destination Québec cité.
“The Port of Quebec is committed to constantly improving its practices and will continue to position itself as a leader in the international cruise sector. It is through partnerships such as the one with Holland America Line that we will succeed in developing with partners committed to the development of cruises in Quebec City within an increasingly sustainable and viable industry that is perfectly in line with our 2035 vision,” explains Mario Girard, President and CEO of the Port of Quebec.
About Port of Québec
The Port of Québec is among Canada’s five largest ports in terms of tonnage handled and economic spinoffs. It is strategically located to serve North America’s industrial and agricultural heartland. Each year, cargo ships from or to some fifty countries call at the Port of Québec to connect the Great Lakes and Midwestern U.S. markets to the rest of the world. Twenty percent of the port’s territory, which extends from Beauport to the South Shore, is dedicated to recreational activities and tourism.
About Destination Québec cité
Destination Québec cité has over 825 members over a territory including Quebec City, Ancienne-Lorette, Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, Wendake the regional county municipalities of Portneuf, Jacques-Cartier, Île d'Orléans and Côte-de-Beaupré.
About Holland America Line
Holland America Line, part of Carnival Corporation and plc (NYSE/LSE:CCL and NYSE:CUK), has been exploring the world for 150 years with expertly crafted itineraries, extraordinary service and genuine connections to each destination. Offering an ideal mid-sized ship experience, its fleet visits nearly 400 ports in 114 countries around the world and has shared the thrill of Alaska for 75 years — longer than any other cruise line. Holland America Line's 11 vessels feature a diverse range of enriching activities and amenities focused on destination immersion and personalized travel. The best live music at sea fills each evening at Music Walk, and dining venues feature exclusive selections from a Culinary Council of world-famous chefs.
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Communications Senior Advisor
Port of Quebec