Hans Becker, beverage manager on board ms Maasdam, sent in this post about Maasdam’s first call at Sept-Iles, Quebec, Canada.
On May 19 the town of Sept-Iles, Quebec, received Maasdam for the first time. The town’s enthusiasm was evident with schools, businesses and churches closing their doors for a brief moment to welcome the ship.
Radio, television and press also were present and a press conference was held announcing plans to build a $30 million mega-pier to receive cruise ships. In attendance were The Honorable Mr. Lebel, Minister of Economic Development Canada; The Honorable Madame Menard, Minister of Tourism Quebec; M. Levesque, Mayor of Sept-Iles; Pierre Gagnon, director and waterfront president; C. Soucy, Council Port of Sept-Iles, and Chief McKenzie, Innus First Nation Chief.
As a local tradition, every year the port of Sept-Iles gives to the first ship to arrive a “Town Crier’s Baton” in view of this historic arrival. The port and city of Sept-Iles waited five months to present to Captain Draper and Maasdam the traditional baton. In return, Captain Draper presented the Canadian dignitaries with a mini-replica of Maasdam.