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Ports & destinations

Villefranche-sur-mer voted best destination in Western Mediterranean

Cruise Critic, the world’s leading cruise reviews site and online cruise community, has announced the winners of its third annual Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards, naming the world’s most popular cruise destinations, based entirely on consumer ratings submitted with reviews on Cruise Critic.

Villefranche-sur-mer was recognised as one of the best cruise destinations in the world, winning the best destination award in Western Mediterranean, said French Riviera Cruise club that promotes the region to the cruise industry.

Destinations awarded in this year’s awards received the highest ratings among cruisers who cruised to the destination in the past year and shared their experiences on Cruise Critic.

Cruise the Saint Lawrence reports significant rise in passenger numbers

At the June annual general meeting of the board of directors of Cruise the Saint Lawrence, association members appointed officers to the following positions: Tony Boemi of Port of Montréal was elected to a two-year term as President, with Nancy Houley of Port of Québec continuing in her capacity of Vice President, and Renée Dumas of Cruise Baie-Comeau named to the post of Secretary-Treasurer. The board of directors is proud to contribute to the development of the international cruise industry in Québec and economic growth across the region.

During the meeting, the board underscored the extremely positive results posted for 2017 prior to shifting their focus to 2018 deemed ripe with the prospect for continued growth. During the 2017 cruise season, more than half a million passengers and crew members visited the nine international ports of call of on the St. Lawrence. This strong growth shows that Quebec is succeeding in carving out a place in the international cruise industry and distinguishing itself as a must-see destination. It is, 387,678 passengers and 151,362 crew members that visited the nine international ports of call of the Saint Lawrence.

It is already possible to predict that 2018 will be an equally extraordinary year. This year’s season, which began in May, was marked by the presence of Holland America and Hurtigruten vessels on the Saint Lawrence. By the end of the season in progress, the nine member ports of call are expected to log over 500 000 passenger-days and more than 150 000 crew members which would amount to a 30% increase in passenger numbers from 2017 to 2018.

Over the years, Destination Canada New England – of which Cruise the Saint Lawrence is a key component – has secured a place of choice in international cruise industry circles. Destination strengths include distinctively different ports, abundant natural and cultural attractions, and signature passenger greeting operations. In 2018, 26 cruise lines operating 35 different ships will visit destination shores for a combined direct and indirect annual economic impact of over $500 million.

Cruise the Saint Lawrence is a sectoral organization which groups together the nine ports of call located along the shores of the Saint Lawrence River. The mission of the organization is to grow cruise market activities in Québec and across Destination Canada New England through the provision of marketing and development services to members. Cruise the Saint Lawrence enjoys the support of partners Tourism Québec, Québec Tourism Industry Alliance and Industry, Science and Economic Development Canada.

Marella Explorer makes inaugural call to Gibraltar

Marella Cruises' newest ship Marella Explorer made its inaugural call to Gibraltar on Wednesday 18th July 2018.

Formerly known as the Mein Schiff 1, the ship recently underwent a multi million pound makeover. A number of new fleet features are a Champneys health spa, a selection of new eateries, new retail brands and The Emulator, a state of the art Interactive DJ screen overlooking the dance floor in the Indigo night club.

Marella Explorer has a capacity for 1924 passengers and 909 crew, making it the cruise line’s largest vessel in their six ship fleet. The ship will be sailing the western Mediterranean during the summer before sailing down to the Caribbean for the winter.

As with all other inaugural calls, an informal plaque exchange ceremony took place on board with the ship’s captain. Representatives from the Gibraltar Tourist Board, Gibraltar Port Authority and local shipping agents Incargo attended.

Longyearbyen launches first community specific tourism guidelines

This month, Longyearbyen became the first Arctic town to launch its own community specific guidelines. The guidelines instruct tourists on how to be considerate visitors and were developed using a template created by the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) and partners.

When you visit Longyearbyen, you are encouraged to do as the locals: respect wildlife, nature and each other. The Arctic town has now launched new guidelines for tourists visiting their community. The guidelines offer tips and tricks to get around and advice on how to be a considerate guest.

Among other things, the guidelines encourage visitors to chat with locals, but to ask before taking photos and to respect people’s privacy. Visitors are invited to support the community by shopping locally but are reminded that there is no tradition for bargaining in Svalbard. Tourists are also given useful pointers on which side of the roads they should walk on if there’s no sidewalk and how they can help keeping Svalbard clean by using garbage bins.

The guidelines were created by Visit Svalbard, Port of Longyearbyen and Svalbard Cruise Network with funding from NORA (North Atlantic Cooperation).

“Longyearbyen is a popular tourist destination and these guidelines will help visitors understand our town. Tourists often visit for a short period, and these community guidelines are a great way of communicating local knowledge directly to visitors,” says Ronny Brunvoll, general manager of Visit Svalbard.

Frigg Jørgensen, executive director of AECO, hopes that more Arctic towns and hamlets will embrace the concept of community specific guidelines.

“AECO has created general community guidelines that provide travelers with useful dos and don’ts when visiting Arctic communities. We also created a template allows communities create their own tailored guidelines, and we are happy to see Longyearbyen become the first town to make this a reality,” says Jørgensen.

Longyearbyen’s community specific guidelines are available on the webpages of Visit Svalbard and AECO.

New passenger terminal is open for business at DP World Limassol

The new passenger terminal in Limassol, Cyprus, which was opened in May, provides world-class facilities and services for passengers and features seven pods with a total floor area of 8,205 m2. The terminal is designed to facilitate both Transit (day call) and turnaround (home porting) services. In addition, the East berth with a length of 480m and depth of 11m is able to handle the largest cruise vessels in the world.

At DP World Limassol, the terminal is separated into three principal areas; Cruise; Oil and Gas logistics zone; and Domestic/transit trade area. This allows DP World Limassol to offer additional services and operations that support the Cyprus economy.

The Oil and Gas logistics zone is 100,000 m2 with a 430m berth and has been awarded with full environmental impact assessment and relevant permits. Current occupation is at 30%, and has been used to support recent ENI’s successful Cyprus EEZ offshore drilling campaign. Exxon Mobile has also nominated DP World Limassol Oil and Gas zone as its planned drilling logistics base.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, said: “The Cyprus Government is particularly pleased for the highly experienced international and local partners, DP World who will ensure the success of Limassol Port in the coming decades. The Port of Limassol is one of the largest commercialization projects in Cyprus to date. It serves as a model for the Republic of Cyprus and its ongoing efforts for a prosperous future as a modern centre for investment, trade and services."