Cruise operations restart at the port of Marseille

Cruise operations restart at the port of Marseille

MSC Cruises

MSC Seaside will be among the ships calling at the port following the restart

Cruise operations are to restart at the port of Marseille in France after a 17-month pause in sailing, with a total of 36 port calls planned throughout summer 2021.

The port has implemented safety measures at the direction of a technical panel, which comprises the Port of Marseille-Fos, Bouches-du-Rhône Prefecture, the Marseille Fire and Rescue Service, the PACA Region Health Executive, the Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire Méditerranée Infection and the Marseille Provence Cruise Terminal. These measures include social distancing, frequent disinfection of public spaces, and a protective bubble for any passengers disembarking for excursions.

MSC Cruises’ MSC Seaside and Costa Cruises Costa Smeralda will both call at the port following the restart. Both companies are signatories of the Marseille Cruise Club’s Blue Charter along with Royal Caribbean and Ponant, with the charter set to be implemented for the first time this year.

The charter requires that cruise ships must use 0.1 per cent low-sulphur fuel or other systems to reduce the environmental footprint, reduce speed to 10 knots in the port control zone and use onshore power to 2025. The port and cruise companies will also promote calls by LNG-powered vessels and develop dedicated bunkering infrastructure.

According to a survey carried out in 2017 for the Bouches-du-Rhône Prefecture, the Sud Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region and the three local chambers of commerce and industry, the cruise industry generates €375 million ($443 million) for the Marseille-Provence economy. The sector accounts for around 3000 jobs, with 2000 of these being direct jobs such as restaurant staff, tour guides and port staff, and a further 1000 in company head offices and shipyards.

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Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
07 July 2021

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