Charming Trois-Rivières greets international cruise guests
Located on the St. Lawrence River, halfway between Montreal and Quebec City, Trois-Rivières is open for business. Cruise business.
On Thursday morning, the people of Trois-Rivières witnessed a long-awaited sight; the arrival of their first cruise ship, the Balmoral, owned by British company Fred Olsen Cruise Line. Carrying 1,200 passengers and a crew of 500, the Balmoral docked at 7:30am and was scheduled to spend the entire day in Trois-Rivières.
“I have met many passengers since this morning, and I have heard only positive comments. They find Trois-Rivières clean and welcoming. I feel that this day is a great success,” says Trois-Rivières mayor, Yves Lévesque.
Just before noon, the captain of the Balmoral welcomed a few local dignitaries, including Mayor Yves Lévesque, the General Manager of Innovation et Développement économique Trois-Rivières, Yves Marchand, and CEO of the port, Gaétan Boivin, for an official ceremony to mark his ship’s first call in Trois-Rivières. He received a work of art by artist Sylvie Leblanc, a book about the city and a basket of local products. The captain presented his hosts with a souvenir plaque from the Balmoral.
“We received a very warm welcome from the entire crew. We talked with the captain, and were delighted to hear that they were very happy with the welcome they received in Trois-Rivières. Comments from the passengers have been very flattering for Trois-Rivières, and we are confident that this good first impression means the experience will be repeated in the future,” says Yves Marchand.
To greet the passengers from the Balmoral, a special team of 70 people was created. Some of them worked as security volunteers, others offered guided tours to the cruise guests. Reminiscent of the Délices d’automne, a dozen local producers were on hand to offer free samples of regional specialties.
We are proud to have convinced the Fred Olsen Cruise Line to trust us. Today was a first, but I am convinced that this is just the beginning,” says Yolande Masse, Director of Tourisme Trois-Rivières. Incidentally, next Tuesday, September 25, a second ship, the Quest for Adventure, will stop for a visit. A third ship, the Seabourn Sojourn, has also confirmed it will arrive in September 2013.
Trois-Rivières is moving full speed ahead to develop an exciting portside welcome area for cruise guests, which includes a walking path that leads directly into the chic downtown scene, dotted with outdoor cafes and .
This year will set a record with 250,000 passengers having cruised on the St. Lawrence river. Each of the nine ports along the St. Lawrence will have welcomed at least one cruise ship during the short cruise season, from early May until late October.
Source and photos: Tourisme Trois-Rivières