Public and private sector organizations make investments and implement policies and programs in the Great Lake-St.Lawrence maritime transportation system to improve and sustain their use. Federal money is spent to dredge harbors and channels, break up ice, and maintain critical locks and other infrastructure, ensuring the maritime system functions smoothly. States and provinces develop waterfronts for greater access to maritime shipping and boost economic development. Private organizations use resources to improve their cargo capacity and efficiency through ship and onshore investments.

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St. Lawrence Economic Development Council (SODES)

The St. Lawrence Economic Development Council (SODES) is a non-profit organization created in 1985 with the mission to “protect and promote the economic interests of the St. Lawrence maritime community from a sustainable development perspective.” Members of the organization include shipping carriers, ports, private terminals, provincial and federal governments, marine services and equipment suppliers, and marine industry associations.

Cruise the Great Lakes

The Regional Maritime Strategy noted that the cruise tourism could generate substantial economic benefits for the Great Lakes. Cruise the Great Lakes is a response to this potential market, and is an international partnership intended to bring more cruise passengers to the Great Lakes. The partnership was organized by the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers in 2018, with the goal of creating a unique brand to market the Great Lakes to both consumers and cruise operators.

Cruise the St. Lawrence

Cruise the Saint Lawrence was created to promote cruise tourism in Quebec, and includes the nine cruise vessel ports of call on the St. Lawrence River. The main mandate of Cruise the Saint Lawrence is to build a brand for cruise tourism in the region by defining and coordinating development efforts and partner/port of call attributes.

Specific marketing materials and efforts from Cruise the St. Lawrence include:

U.S. Customs Clearance for Cruise Passengers

Cruise tourism on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River is projected to grow in coming years and could generate economic benefits for communities hosting cruise vessels and businesses that support the industry. However, a lack of customs clearance facilities for cruise passengers and inconsistent application of customs regulations could hinder this expansion. Cruise operators, passengers, and port authorities require a consistent and efficient regulatory framework that can provide certainty and ensure the long-term viability and growth of regional cruising. The U.S.