Alan Lam reports
After years of tenacious effort, the small Spanish port of Tarragona finally succeeded in attracting the attention of a major cruise line: Costa Cruises will base its 1,727-guest Costa neoRiviera in Tarragona from 2 June to 22 September 2017 for one of its key Mediterranean operations.
This welcoming news is a result of a meaningful cooperation and dialogue between the port and the cruise line. The proximity to Barcelona and the myriad of attractions in and around Tarragona make the port an ideal choice for Costa. It is estimated that the weekly departure plus two additional calls by one of the company’s much bigger ships, the 3,780-guest Costa Favolosa, will bring an additional 32,000 visitors to the port in the coming season. This will make a tremendous difference to the port’s cruise traffic, as without them the port would only expect 15,000 cruise passengers this year.
Departing Tarragona every Friday, the ship will call at Savona, Porto Torres, Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera, and Palma before returning to the point of departure.
According to a statement released by the port, this move will be an essential stepping-stone in positioning Tarragona and the entire Costa Dourada region as a tourist and cruise destination of international importance.
“This is the first time we are a base port of a regular cruise line,” said Josep Andreu, Chairman of the Port of Tarragona. "The commitment shown by Costa Cruises for Tarragona and the Costa Daurada is a landmark in the consolidation of our project and it means a great boost for Tarragona Cruise Port Costa Daurada.”
"We in Costa Cruises always offer the best travel proposal to our customers in our drive to strengthen our leadership in a highly competitive sector,” said Raffaelle D'Ambrosio, the company's General Manager Spain and Portugal. “We want to offer the most appealing destinations in order to provide a unique, unforgettable vacation experience.”
Cruise Business Review has always been a leading proponent of lesser-known ports that have serious cruise potentials. In one fell swoop Tarragona has become a success story for small and medium Mediterranean ports.