On Aug. 13, the Marco Polo will return to the Port of Montréal for a 24-hour visit and 50th anniversary celebrations.
To mark its arrival, the Montréal Cruise Committee is encouraging Montrealers and visitors to make their way to the Old Port’s boardwalk at 8:15 a.m. when the ship is scheduled to arrive with 750 guests and 220 crew members aboard. To welcome the Marco Polo, there will be a water show with jets sprayed from tugboats owned by Ocean Group.
In 1965, Germany’s Wismar shipyard delivered to Russia a cruise ship named after the celebrated Russian poet Alexandr Pushkin. This ship completed transatlantic voyages travelling from Leningrad to Montreal, with stops in Helsinki, Copenhagen, London and Quebec City. It would be the beginning of a long love affair between the ship and Montreal, as the Alexandr Pushkin visited the city 114 times. Its final trip to Montreal was on Aug. 18, 1980.
“Like probably thousands of Quebecers, I have family members who had the chance to travel on the Alexandr Pushkin. Now, I’m delighted to welcome back this ship that played an important role in Montreal’s cruise industry for 15 years,” said Sylvie Vachon, president and CEO of the Port of Montréal.
Since cruise season began, the Port of Montréal has already welcomed some 25,000 cruise ship passengers and crew members, and by the time the season closes on Oct. 29, this number is expected to be as high 90,000 – more than 27% higher than last year.
“We’re anticipating a record high this year, as 19 internationally renowned ships have scheduled stops in Montreal. The fact that all these cruise lines choose to include our city on their itineraries proves that Montreal is a destination of choice for tourists from around the world. This year, a total of 77 stopovers are expected, up from 52 last year. I’m pleased to report that Montreal has the wind in its sails and we’re on our way to achieving our ambitious targets for the year,” said Yves Lalumière, president and CEO of Tourisme Montréal.