MADRID – There has been much interest in the cruise market recently. Shipping companies are choosing their base ports and gearing up for the end of the summer.
Valencia is proving to be a growing market while Barcelona remains a firm favourite. Malaga is also reported to be planning ahead.
National cruise market
However, International and World cruises may not be possible quite yet. And as such, according to Carlos Ruibio, President of the Port Authority in Malaga, it is expected initial routes will be national and will run along the Mediterranean coast of Andalucia from Huelva to Almeria. However, due to the length of coastline and the number of ports, this can easily be extended and may even include Ceuta and Melilla.
This type of cruise has already been working on the Island groups since the end of last year.
Furthermore, the Balearics have also been a target for Italian shipping companies. They see the area as a fantastic base as well as extending its use for internal routes as passenger ferries. This has resulted in Italian Grimaldi Group making an agreement with Armas Trasmediterránea Group.
Trasmediterránea operates passengers and cargo ferries between mainland Spain, the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, and northern Africa’s Spanish territories.
The agreement between the parties provides for the purchase by the Grimaldi Group of the rights to operate between mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands for the transport of freight and passengers. This is on the following round-trip maritime connections:
- Barcelona – Mahon (Menorca)
- Valencia – Palma de Mallorca
- Barcelona – Palma de Mallorca
- Valencia – Ibiza.
- Barcelona – Ibiza, Valencia – Mahon
President of Armas Trasmediterránea Group Antonio Armas, declared, “I am proud and very satisfied to have signed this agreement with Emanuele Grimaldi. For our Group this is not a withdrawal from the routes to the Balearic Islands since we will continue to carry out, in collaboration with such an important shipping group on the world stage, a large commercial activity that will allow us to offer our customers an extensive network of international maritime routes”, declares President of Armas Trasmediterránea Group Antonio Armas.
“I am very happy to have signed this important agreement with Antonio Armas, with whom we immediately established a relationship of great mutual esteem and laid the foundations for a fruitful collaboration,” states Emanuele Grimaldi, Managing Director of the eponymous group. “Upon completion of this operation, our group will extend its range of maritime services also to the Spanish domestic market, generating new synergies with the other connections we operate in the western Mediterranean”, concludes Emanuele Grimaldi.
For International and World cruises to be options for tourists, it will require some covid safe features put in place. Holiday makers will either to have been vaccinated or to produce a negative PCR test. It is also expected they will be in “bubbles” to help ensure the safety of passengers and crew. This may also include social distancing and the wearing of masks.