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Discover Quebec’s Largest City



Taking its name from Mount Royal, a nearby mountain, Montreal is Québec’s largest city and Canada’s second-largest, boasting a diverse geography and population. It’s uniquely located on an island in the Saint Lawrence River.

Travelers looking to indulge in arts and culture will find plenty to do here. From cafes and art galleries to scenic narrow streets and festivals, Montreal has several cultural experiences to offer visitors. Annually held festivals include International Jazz Festival, Just for Laughs, Francofolies and World Film Festival.

Montreal is a popular port to visit during a voyage with Victory Cruise Lines. The M/V Victory I and II vessels allow guests to relax in cozy corners, unwind while enjoying picturesque views and share laughs with family and friends.

In addition to enjoying life on board, Victory Cruise Lines allows for plenty of time in the destinations and provides an appealing all-inclusive visit during a stop in Montreal. This city is friendly to English-speakers and has something for everyone to enjoy.

Visitors can begin their day with a city tour, checking out everything Montreal has to offer and visiting the Notre-Dame Basilica located in the historic district of Old Montreal.

The Aura Light Show at Notre Dame Basilica
PHOTO: The Aura Light Show at Notre Dame Basilica (photo by Jim Byers)

Next up on a day itinerary is a drive through the downtown business district right up to the top of Mount Royal. Here tourists can take in the views of both the city and the Saint Lawrence River and snap a few photos before heading over to the beautiful Montreal Botanical Garden—which is another great spot for photos.

A unique area not to miss during a visit to this city is the Underground City. As the name implies, it’s located under the heart of the city and is a pedestrian network linking metro stations, shopping centers, hotels and more. People can spend hours exploring this 20-mile area.

Back on board, guests will experience personalized service, fine dining—including afternoon teas and cocktail hours, lectures and comfortable accommodations, among other amenities.

The elegant voyages with Victory Cruise Lines leave travelers with one of a kind memories to cherish for a lifetime.

There are four sailing dates calling to Montreal in October 2019 and one scheduled for May 2020.

These include French Canada and Great Lakes on October 1 and October 2, French Canadian Great Lakes, Nova Scotia & New England on October 19, St. Lawrence Seaway & Jewels of French Canada on October 22 and St. Lawrence Seaway Exploration on May 4.

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AmaWaterways’ Rudi Schreiner Optimistic About River Cruising’s Rebound



AmaWaterways President and Co-Founder Rudi Schreiner is optimistic that the river cruise industry will rebound once the coronavirus outbreak dissipates.

“Once everything is over people often forget quickly,” he told TravelPulse. “There will be pent-up demand, but the question now is when does it start up again?”

AmaWaterways has suspended river cruise operations until May 31 but is protecting travel agent commissions on canceled departures and paying 10 percent again when the agents’ clients rebook using future cruise credits (valued at 115 percent of the initial payments). That commitment is valued, especially since this is one of the direst situations in memory for travel.

“This is for sure one of the most severe situations we’ve ever had,” Schreiner said. “It is worse than 9/11 and worse than some of the terrorist attacks.”

For river cruising, this situation is worse than 9/11 because that attack occurred in September when most of the river cruise season was over – not at the beginning of the season like it is now.

“So, 9/11 was huge but didn’t affect European river cruising as strongly,” he said. “The most intense time for us personally was the first two weeks of March this year. Ships were ready, crews were onboard, provisions were ready” and then the virus spread across parts of Europe. The season was suspended.

“Once that was done, you at least had a clear picture ahead of you,” Schreiner said.

That doesn’t mean work is over for the time being. Schreiner is working out of his home in Westlake Village, Calif., and “right now we are busy on daily conference calls with the management team, individual calls with departments and so on. It’s very busy, and it’s getting organized, sorting through the whole thing. If we don’t cruise this entire season, we’ll make it through.”

That’s because Schreiner said AmaWaterways’ 25 ships are all paid off and funding in place will carry the company through.

“My worst-case scenario over the last 6-7 years, when our fleet became bigger, was because of such extreme low water we cannot cruise for a season,” he said. “In 2018, we had low water through the whole season. If it would get to an extreme level and we couldn’t cruise for a season, that’s why I always wanted to be as debt-free as possible. For many, many years, every penny we made went back into the company and our last 12 ships were completely paid in cash. Now everything is paid off.”

The company also is focused on its staff members. “We’re trying to maintain pretty much all our staff in our offices in Calabasas (Calif.), Dallas, Basel (Switzerland), and London,” Schreiner said. But European nations often operate differently. In Switzerland, for example, the government wants people to continue working and will pay 80 percent of the workers’ salaries, he explained.

When river cruise does rebound, it likely won’t get the same kind of fear that ocean companies are likely to face – such as being quarantined or turned away from countries. River ships are always close to land and don’t sail in international waters, so can’t be turned away from a country.

“On the river, you’re always within a country, you’re not coming from international waters,” he said. “It’s a different environment. Small-ship cruising will continue, and expedition cruising will continue. Ocean cruising may take longer, but I think it will also come back.”

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