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09 June 2017; Quebec, Canada.

The city looked very nice when the ship came around the corner and approached the berth. As mentioned before, the St. Lawrence makes an almost 90o turn just south of Quebec and thus the ship has to come around a corner before it can make the final approach to the dock. As we had the sun behind us, it shone over the North bank of the city, and gave us the best view possible of Chateau Frontenac on top of the hill. It is not a real castle but a Hotel built by the Canadian Pacific company about 150 years ago but it looks like a French castle on steroids. In those days people were willing to invest in hotels that made a statement and thus the interior is breath taking as well. So nice that they charge couples getting married 450 dollars just for the privilege of having a photo taken on the stairs. If that is the cost for a photo, I wonder what a complete wedding there will cost.

Chateau/hotel Frontenac on top of the hill. Also note that the dock walls are much more visible now. The water has receded considerably. The white ship with the multi colored funnels is a sightseeing boat and the blue one behind it is the local ferry for crossing the river to the southbank. Which is a short cut to avoid the Quebec Bridge a few miles further upstream.

We arrived today with the full flood current running and thus the decision was made to dock with the nose in the current as it is a lot easier to control the bow in the current than the stern. The sharp bow is much easier pressed/pushed through the current than the blunt stern is. This meant swinging around on arrival and dock with the nose downstream. It will mean for tonight that the ship will have to swing around again before it can head up river. Not much of a problem it is just that while swinging around the ship is carried about a mile by the current while making the turn.  So this morning the turn was started early and by the time the turn was completed we were just passed the assigned dock and only had to sail a little bit forward to get in position.

Fresh fruits and vegetables coming on board. Everything is unloaded to be counted and then lowered into the ship by forklift.

I blogged last week that the river level was very high and floodings were happening shore side. Well upstream the torrential rains have abated and the river is now 6 feet lower than 7 days ago. The parking garage opposite the ship is back in use so all is well in Quebec again. The ship took the opportunity load fresh vegetables and fruit this morning as the dock here is ideal to have a truck and a forklift on the dock. There are wide fenders and that makes it easy to lower a cage with the pallets in it to the provision break of the ship. A cage is needed as with the river level going down, B deck is now under the pier again. Last week we could just shove the pallets in.

We docked the wrong way around to day because of the current. (Photo courtesy Safety officer Wouter Koolhaas)

Tomorrow we will be in Montreal and if all goes well then we will be docking at the regular passenger terminal again. In the last 16 months they have spent 78 million dollars on it to upgrade it so I hope it will be wonderful. Nobody really knows as until today our agent had not been able to get inside as they were not finished yet. So tomorrow there will be the Mayor and a host of other important people present to cut the ribbon and speak some wise words.

I will not be part of those festivities as I will be leaving the elegant and beautiful Maasdam and transfer to the ms Noordam. Flying from Montreal via Chicago to Anchorage. I will spend the night there and then travel the next morning by car to the ship which is docked in Seward. Which means there will be no blog on the 10th and the 11th. as I do not find airport terminals very inspiring. I will be back on the 12th.

Note: I had a remark from one of the readers a few days ago that when you clicked on a photo — to make it larger — nothing happened. That might have to do with the way I upload photos as the bandwidth on the ship was not that great. Holland America is working hard on improving that and it also benefits me. So I am now trying to upload higher dpi photos. Let’ see if that works and if it solves the challenge.

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