Carnival Corporation & plc today announced an agreement with the Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife following a Board of Directors meeting presided by Pedro Suárez López de Vergara to be the first concession-holder to operate the Canary Islands' and Mid Atlantic's newest cruise terminal.
Opened in 2016 during the Seatrade Cruise Med conference that took place in Tenerife, the terminal offers passengers a comfortable experience and modern conveniences. It can also accommodate next-generation "green" cruise ships powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel, and will welcome AIDAnova, from the corporation's Germany-based AIDA Cruises brand, on its maiden voyage in December as the world's first cruise ship that can be powered by LNG both in port and at sea.
Welcoming 617,987 cruise passengers in 2017, Santa Cruz de Tenerife is one of the busiest cruise ports in the Canary Islands, the seven-island Spanish archipelago off the coast of Africa and Spain, and the first to attract an investment by a major cruise company. The Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, a Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) member, is a very active member of MedCruise, the leading cruise port association worldwide, and it has been a Cruises Atlantic Islands founding member since 1994.
Carnival Corporation also manages two other cruise terminals in Spain – the Helix and Palacruceros facilities in Barcelona.
Seven brands from Carnival Corporation – AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn and P&O Cruises UK – make port calls to Tenerife during the course of the year. Carnival Corporation expects to bring more than 300,000 passenger visits to the port in 2018 – half of all cruise passenger visits – with 130 calls by 31 different ships from the company's cruise line brands.
"Carnival Corporation has long been a valued partner with the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the Canary Islands, and we are confident that they will be a wonderful steward of our recently built cruise port," said Pedro Suárez López de Vergara, president of the Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. "Thanks in large part to Carnival Corporation ships, the cruise market generated an economic impact to the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the city of Santa Cruz of €24 million ($27.1 million) in the 2018 cruise season, an increase of €6m from the 2017 cruise season, and we look forward to continuing to share our beautiful island with visiting cruise passengers coming through this cruise terminal."
The Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife celebrates this long-term agreement with the aim of extending the benefits to its other ports – Santa Cruz de La Palma, San Sebastián de La Gomera, La Estaca in El Hierro and Los Cristianos in Tenerife.
The president continued: "Our ports are performing very well in the cruise business – last year we received nearly 1 million cruise passengers and we are confident to increase this figure close to 2 percent in 2018. We expect the new partnership will boost the cruise business in the region."
Carnival Corporation guests who visit Tenerife can take advantage of a variety of popular shore excursions, including whale and dolphin watching, visiting the historic district of La Laguna – the only UNESCO World Heritage City in the Canary Islands – and exploring natural attractions such as the Gardens of La Orotava Valley, the Anaga Biosphere Reserve or the Mount El Teide in the National Park, home to Spain's highest peak and the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
"This concession and our ongoing investment is part of Carnival Corporation's long-term strategy to continue to develop the cruise industry in the Canary Islands," said Giora Israel, senior vice president of global port and destination development for Carnival Corporation. "Our passion is to always provide the best possible experiences for our guests, and Tenerife is an extremely popular destination that offers something for everyone – including a storied history, beautiful beaches, exotic gardens, unique crafts and memorable cuisine. We look forward to ensuring that our cruise guests coming through the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife have a great experience, and we also look forward to expanding relationships with our friends in Tenerife."
The Santa Cruz de Tenerife terminal will be the first port in the Canaries able to accommodate Carnival Corporation's new class of next-generation "green" cruise ships able to be operated by LNG, both in port and at sea. The company currently has 11 LNG-powered ships on order for five of its nine cruise line brands, with the first ship, AIDAnova, scheduled to make its maiden call on Tenerife on December 18, 2018.
In addition to its ships that will pioneer the use of LNG, the company has been an industry leader with another environmental technology breakthrough, making Advanced Air Quality Systems (AAQS) highly functional in the small confines of a cruise ship. Carnival Corporation has already outfitted 70 ships in its fleet with the systems, which significantly improve air emissions by reducing sulfur compounds and particulate matter in ships' exhaust.
Santa Cruz Terminal joins eight global ports and terminals already operated by Carnival Corporation and its cruise line brands, including:
– Barcelona (Helix & Palacruceros terminals) in Spain
– Savona in Italy
– Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic
– Puerta Maya in Cozumel, Mexico
– Grand Turk Cruise Center in Turks and Caicos Islands
– Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras
– Long Beach in California
Carnival Corporation also operates two private destinations in the Caribbean, Princess Cays and Half Moon Cay, and has a joint venture in Dubai for the future operation of two cruise terminals. Additionally, through a joint venture, Carnival Corporation is a 50/50 operator with MSC Cruises of a terminal in Marseille, France.