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2024 cruise season kicks off at Port of Montreal


The Port of Montreal gas launched the 2024 cruise season with the arrival of Holland America’s Volendam, a vessel which served as a refuge for 1,500 Ukrainian citizens in April 2022. This is the ship’s first call to the metropolis, and in keeping with tradition, a gift was presented to Captain Laurentius Oscar van Eerten.

The 2024 cruise season promises to live up to last year’s success, with some 50,000 passengers expected between May 4 and October 28, over the course of 41 operations that include nine calls and 32 boardings/disembarkations. In terms of capacity, ships range from the 180-passenger Le Bellot to the 1,440-passenger Volendam.

 “This new cruise season reflects Montreal’s appeal as a world-class tourist destination. We are so very proud to offer an outstanding reception area with the Grand Quay and the Port of Montreal Tower, which have become iconic symbols for our city’s tourism. This is also a great occasion to spotlight our commitment to innovation and sustainability at our port, as demonstrated by our shore power system,” said Julie Gascon, President and CEO of the Port of Montreal.

 “As the gateway to the Americas, Montréal is a must-see destination on the St. Lawrence River. Tourisme Montréal is proud to collaborate with this sector, creating significant economic benefits for the restaurant owners and merchants of Old Montréal,” said Yves Lalumière, President and CEO, Tourisme Montréal.

Nine cruise ships will visit Montreal for the very first time:

–  Holland America’s Volendam, the first and largest ship of the season
–  Two Ponant ships, Champlain and Lyrial, accommodating 180 and 264 passengers respectively, providing an     intimate, luxury cruising experience
–  From Villa Vie Residences, Villa Vie Odyssey with 924 passengers
–  From Rivages du Monde, World Explorer with a 200-passenger capacity, focused on the adventure experience
–  Regent’s Seven Seas Grandeur with 750 passengers
–  Oceania Cruises’ Nautica, with 684 passengers
–  Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ Borealis, with 1,320 passengers, and
– Azamara Cruises’ Azamara Journey, with 718 passengers, marking the return of the cruise line to Montreal after an eight-year absence

Artwork of an Indigenous artist

The launch of the 2024 cruise season marked a change of direction for one of the Port of Montreal’s most cherished marine traditions: presenting plaques to vessels making their first port call. The MPA organized a contest to redesign the traditional plaque, based on the work of a First Nations artist in connection with the marine community.

As a result, Wendake native Manon Sioui’s All Aboard was selected to welcome the new vessels on their maiden voyage to Montreal.

An exhibition in tribute to Ukrainian refugees

Following an agreement between the Government of the Netherlands, the City of Rotterdam and Holland-America, the Volendam cruise ship served as a refuge for 1,500 Ukrainian citizens for a period of six months starting in April 2022. To commemorate this act of humanity, a permanent exhibition has been installed aboard ship. It features photographs, children’s drawings and other testimonials from Ukrainian refugees.

The exhibition was officially inaugurated in the presence of Julie Gascon, President and CEO of the Port of Montreal, the Volendam crew, the Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Montreal, Eugène Czolij, and the Honorary Consul of the Netherlands in Montreal, Michael Polak.

Photo, left to right : Yves Gilson, Associate Director of Cruises for the Port of Montreal, Laurentius Oscar van Eerten, the Captain of Volendam.