After more than two years of absence, the return of cruise ships to the Port of Montreal is a delight for the merchants of the district, who live thanks to the passage of tourists in the Quebec metropolis.
“Everyone is quite optimistic for this season. Seems like everything is suddenly back to normal. And we’ll take it! says the owner of the Rayon Montreal souvenir shop, Ghislain Harvey.
The red container that serves as a store for Mr. Harvey is located directly on the promenade of the Old Port. It is a popular spot for tourists, especially those disembarking from cruise ships which dock a few meters away.
The first ship of the season just arrived on Saturday morning, signaling the end of more than two years without their presence in the city’s port.
“The sun is out and it is getting hotter and hotter. It’s a beautiful day to walk around. The problem is that we’re only going to be here for six hours”, jokes Larry Edland, from Indiana, in the United States, a few minutes after setting foot in Montreal.
Drink and eat
A few steps away, the employees of the Seasalt restaurant were preparing to open their terrace on rue de la Commune.
“People who come down [des bateaux de croisière] are happy to stop, eat and have a drink before continuing their walk,” says Gilles, the establishment’s assistant manager.
“Every summer, we are very, very busy when they arrive,” adds the owner of Van Winkle Sandwiches, located on Saint-Paul Street, Song Lu.
Profits at the rendezvous
“Cruise passengers are people who like to spend when they arrive at a place”, observes, happy, Mr. Harvey.
“We’ve been waiting for the return of cruises to Montreal for a long time! This is excellent news for Montreal, which will benefit from exceptional economic spinoffs, but also for tourists who will have the chance to visit our wonderful city,” said the President and CEO of Tourisme Montreal, Yves Lalumière.
After two more difficult years, Ghizlaine Smiri looks forward to the 2022 season with a smile.
“I’m very optimistic, I almost feel like I’m back in 2019. Saturday was my first day and my stocks are already low,” says the manager of the Boivin & Hastings maple products store.
“It seems that tourists are slowly coming back, it affects our turnover a lot [positivement] confirms Gabrielle Rouillard, waitress at Franklin’s Subs and Suds restaurant on Saint-Paul Street.
Figures that make you smile
- Between 38,000 and 50,000 international passengers are expected at the Port of Montreal this year.
- In all 45 visits are planned from 16 ships different.
- Cruises from United Statesbut alsoIcelandof UK and of theGermany will stop in particular in the Quebec metropolis between now and October 31.
Source: Montreal Cruises