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Montreal welcomed its first ship of the 2013 cruise season with the recent arrival of Holland America’s 1,266 passenger Masdaam. And 2013 marks a big year for the port, which will be the first time its cruise season run from May through October. The longer season comes as a result of an anticipated 9% increase in the number of cruise-goers this year, continuing the ports gains in 2012 when a record total of 55,000 passengers and 14,000 crew members arrived at the port. In 2012, the amount of direct economic spin-off for Montreal came to a grand total of $14 million. The honorable Charles Lapointe, president and CEO of Tourisme Montreal, said: “We owe Montreal’s success in the cruise market to the dedicated efforts of the Montreal Cruise Committee. Since 2010, the committee members have been single-mindedly pursuing the goal of turning Montreal into a premier cruise destination.” Sylvie Vachon, CEO of the Montreal Port Authority, observed that: “The upcoming season confirms Montreal’s position as a preferred destination for international cruise companies. They recognize our efficiency, the quality of our services, and the fact that we are constantly improving our welcome for their passengers.” Of note in 2013, all ships passing through Montreal this season will be either embarking or debarking — that is passengers will either start or end their cruise in Montreal. — and that development could lead to significant economic spin-off for the city’s accommodation and dining sectors. Go to for more.

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