The Canadian port of Trois-Rivières welcomed its first-ever cruise ship on 20th September 2012, when Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ 1,350-guest Balmoral made its maiden call, as part of its 28-night ‘Canada Eastern Seaboard’ L1216 cruise.
To commemorate Trois-Rivières’ first-ever visit by a cruise ship, the Master of Balmoral, Captain Victor Stoica, welcomed local dignitaries aboard, including Mayor Yves Lévesque, General Manager of Innovation et Développement économique Trois-Rivières, Yves Marchand, and CEO of the Port, Gaétan Boivin, for an official ceremony. Mayor Lévesque presented Captain Stoica with a work of art by artist Sylvie Leblanc, a book about Trois-Rivières and a basket of local produce. In exchange, Captain Stoica presented his hosts with a souvenir plaque from Balmoral.
Guy Sharp, Balmoral’s Hotel Manager, said:
“Trois-Rivières was a really fantastic port of call and we received a great welcome from the local people. The Mayor met a lot of our guests personally, and he and his team were clapped into the Ballindalloch Restaurant by all our guests and crew.
“This town, the Ship’s Agent Audrey and the local dignitaries all made quite an impression upon us.”
Mayor Lévesque said:
“I have met many of Balmoral’s passengers and I have heard only positive comments. They find Trois-Rivières clean and welcoming, and I feel that this day is a great success.”
Yves Marchand, General Manager of Innovation et Développement économique Trois-Rivières, added:
“We received a very warm welcome from the entire crew. We talked with the Captain, and were delighted to hear that Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines was very happy with the welcome that Balmoral received in Trois-Rivières. Comments from the passengers have been very flattering, and we are confident that this good first impression means that the experience will be repeated in the future.”
To greet Balmoral’s guests, the town of Trois-Rivières created a special team of 70 people, some of whom worked as security volunteers, others offered guided tours and provided useful information. Reminiscent of the ‘Délices d’automne’, a unique culinary event celebrated in the town, a dozen local producers were on hand to offer cruise guests free samples of regional specialties.
Yolande Masse, Director of Tourisme Trois-Rivières, continued:
“We are proud to have convinced Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines to put their trust in us. Today was a first, but I am convinced that this is just the beginning.”
Trois-Rivières is a city in the Mauricie region of Quebec, Canada, located on the Saint Lawrence River, about halfway between Montreal and Quebec City.