! Murcia today – Malaga, first port in mainland Spain to resume cruise tourism
The Mein Schiff2 operated by TUI follows a route along the coast from the Balearic Islands
A few minutes before 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday June 15, the Mein Schiff2, the first cruise ship to dock in Malaga after a 15-month hiatus due to the covid pandemic, moored in the north quay of the Levante ferry terminal.
With 1205 passengers on board, the ship operated by the company TUI Cruises, will remain in port until 6:00 p.m.
The arrival of this first cruise ship since the start of the covid closures was greeted with great enthusiasm by Andalusian tourism authorities, who held a demonstration of regional folk dances to welcome passengers as they disembark.
The mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, and the president of the port authority, Carlos Rubio, were also waiting to welcome visitors during the controlled disembarkation at 8 a.m.
The cruise industry is of course committed to making sure that everything runs smoothly and that passengers feel confident again to book cruises again. all members of the public with whom they come into contact.
For this reason, passengers do not have carte blanche to explore independently as would normally be the case and are instead carefully secured in their cruise ship bubble by participating in excursions from the ports where the ship stops; in this case, buses were waiting to take passengers to Ronda, Mijas, Marbella and the Caminito del Rey, with a bicycle tour also offered.
There is a lot at stake for the tourism sector; Normally, cruise ships generate an economic impact of around € 41.6 million on the Costa del Sol, with the average cruise ship passenger spending € 62 for a 5 hour stopover in a given port. A typical stopover in Malaga will generate around € 300,000 in income for the city, creating work for tour guides, generating income for local shops and businesses and working for local suppliers of goods and services to the ship itself.
The British are the largest market for cruise ship operators visiting Spanish ports, with 30% of cruise passengers from the UK and 18% from Germany.