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Structure MarineLocated about 400 miles northeast of Quebec City, the Gaspesie peninsula and les Iles-de-la-Madeleine present some of the most picturesque scenery in maritime Canada. Beckoning passengers aboard ships cruising the St. Lawrence River, both ports boast covered landing facilities as elegant as they are functional. Engineered by Structurmarine, they provide comfort and safety for travelers moving from ship to shore.

Les Iles-de-la-Madeleine welcomes cruise passengers from August to October, and Gaspesie from May to October. Authorities at both ports sought to upgrade their docks and improve the experience for tourists who come ashore via shuttle boats to shop, view local attractions and sample legendary regional cuisine.

Denis Bourque, cruise ship development coordinator for the port of les Iles-de-la-Madeleine, knows the island's weather is a challenge, with winds of up to 75 mph, tides, currents and rough waves. In heavy wind and rain, "disembarking onto a wharf without shelter is not pleasant," he said.

To help mitigate passenger discomfort, Structurmarine enhanced the landings at les Iles-de-la-Madeleine and Gaspesie with a high tension membrane shade system on its gangways and parts of the docks. Airy yet substantial, the installations give the ports a polished appearance. "Commercial facilities such as these get heavy use and must withstand a great deal of traffic," said Bruno Nolet, Structurmarine sales manager for North America and the Caribbean. "Safety was foremost in our design."

As with all Structurmarine projects, its engineers developed dock and anchoring solutions for each site's specific needs. Its rugged Structure 100 aluminum docks, designed for service boats in the 100' range, were utilized. This accommodates the heavy use of the landing, though the cruise ship shuttles are less than half that size. The docks handle waves up to 6', and have superior strength, stability and resistance to corrosion.

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