With four ships in the fleet, Disney Cruise Line has many options to explore in the coming years. One option that has appeared on the radar is Quebec in Canada. According to an article published in June 2013 by La Presse, a French language newspaper, Quebec has been in negotiations with Disney Cruise Line. In the article, Martin Lachance, PR Manager & Cruise Development for Quebec Tourism Office, stated that Quebec is trying to attract a younger, family clientele. Lachance claims Quebec is up there with some of the best worldwide cruise destinations such as those in the Caribbean, Alaska, the Mediterranean, the Baltic and Northern Europe. Quebec appears to have a long term plan to be a true player as a cruise destination by developing the infastructure that cruise passengers have come to expect.
Holland America’s MS Veendam will use Quebec City as a homeport on a handful of Canada/New England cruises this September and October. In fact, the itineraries are quite unique as she will sail a 7-Night itinerary between two homeports; Quebec and Boston, Massachusetts. For example, the MS Veendam starts in Quebec with an overnight, sails the Gulf of St Lawrence, ports in Charlottenton, Prince Edward Island; Sydney, Nova Scotia; Halifax, Nova Scotia; tenders in Bar Harbor, Maine and ends in Boston, Massachusetts. Then the MS Veendam turns around with new passengers (or some may choose for a 14-night round trip cruise) on the reverse of the previous week’s itinerary ending in Quebec. In 2014, Crystal Cruises Crystal Serenity will sail a few cruises utilizing Quebec City as a homeport as well.
During the summer of 2012, Disney Cruise Line tested the waters with nine 5-NightCanada/New England Coast cruises while home porting in New York City. The 2012 itinerary aboard the Disney Magic had two port day in Halifax, Nova Scotia and St John, New Brunswick.
In the article, Lachance indicated that the 2012 New York sailings were a test for Disney Cruise Line, which is carefully studying passenger interest of each destination the ships visit. “Disney Cruise Line asked us [Quebec] to start working to see if it would work,” and feels that Quebec has everything it needs to compliment a Disney Cruise in terms of attractions and activities that cater to families.
Ultimately, it is unclear wether Disney Cruise Line’s interest in Quebec is serious or not, but the La Presse article does indicate Disney continued willingness to branch out with their ambassador ships versus the same old pattern.
Finally, I do not know if the Holland America and Crystal Cruise itineraries are any indication of what time of year these cruises would sail; however, it would be plausible for the Disney Magic to sail some Canada/New England cruises following a summer in Europe. This split summer/early fall time would be in line with how DCL is doing the Mediterranean sailings followed by the Southern Caribbean cruises from San Juan in 2014.
I’d like to thank Melanie and The Guy from Quebec who both alerted me to the La Presse article with their comments on the Early 2015 Itinerary Speculation article.