The cruise season in Catania, during which 114 ships and over 200,000 guests are expected, with an increase respectively of 63% and 66% compared to 2018, is now in full swing.
Friday 19 April will be the turn of the new Mein Schiff 2 of the TUI Cruises company, which will arrive in the Etna port for the first time after its recent launch. On this occasion, as usual, the ship's Master will invite the authorities and local institutions on board for the traditional Placque exchange ceremony.
Built in Meyer Turku's Finnish shipyards according to the most up-to-date technologies in the eco-sustainability field, the ship has a maximum length of over 315 meters, capable of accommodating about 3,000 passengers, assisted by a crew of over 1,000 people. Also this year TUI Cruises is confirmed as the most important and affectionate customer of the cruise terminal in Catania, contributing for about 25% to the overall traffic volume, both in terms of number of ships and number of arriving passengers, to proves the positive appreciation for the port and the city of Catania.
The 2019 will be not only the long-awaited resumption of cruise traffic in the Etna port, obtained thanks to the profitable and uninterrupted promotion work carried out by Catania Cruise Port, together with the Port Network Authority of the Eastern Sea of Sicily and with the Municipality of Catania, but will also see the start of works for the construction of a new cruise terminal, that will replace the existing one. The construction of a new terminal is certainly an essential junction, even if not entirely sufficient, to consolidate traffic volumes and to make Catania a "home port" - port of beginning and end of cruise.
To this end, in fact, it will be necessary to give a real and urgent impulse to the overall improvement of the port infrastructure, together with the definition of procedures to facilitate and speed up the management of passenger and baggage flows between the airport and port during embarkation and disembarkation operations, copying the positive experiences already in place in other similar contexts.
At the end of 2016, Catania Cruise Port joined the Global Ports Holding network (GPH), the largest independent cruise terminal operator in the world. With a consolidated presence in the Mediterranean, in the Atlantic and in the Asia-Pacific regions, including some important commercial ports in Turkey and Montenegro, and with the recent addition of La Habana (Cuba), Zadar (Croatia) and Antigua (Antigua and Barbuda) cruise terminals, GPH manages a portfolio of 16 cruise ports in 10 different countries, where more than 3,000 calls of ships of all companies are held each year.