Cruising returns to Toulon Bay for first time since pandemic

Cruising returns to Toulon Bay for first time since pandemic

Ports of Toulon Bay

Mein Schiff 2 calling at the Ports of Toulon Bay in September 2021

TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff 2 made history at the Ports of Toulon Bay on 16 September 2022 when she became the first cruise vessel to call at the French port with passengers in more than 18 months.

Since March 2020, the port’s piers have welcomed a total of 15 lay-up calls from cruise ships, which have remained berthed in Toulon Bay for different periods of time. However, Mein Schiff 2 was the first to have returned for a full cruise call with guests and crew.

Throughout the pandemic, the Ports of Toulon Bay has been developing its onshore offerings and refining its marketing strategy to position itself as a cruise destination that offers “slow-paced tourism, with low carbon dioxide emissions, that is synonymous with in-depth discoveries, improved knowledge and cultural achievements”.

This marketing strategy has helped the Ports of Toulon Bay to secure a series of cruise calls for 2022. It expects to welcome an average of 90 calls from 16 cruise operators, which will bring a total of around 200,000 guests (if all vessels sail at full capacity) to Toulon Bay.

“It is interesting to see that this strategic turn seems to have a real impact on market segmentation in Toulon Bay as 84 per cent of cruise calls scheduled in 2022 are expected from the premium and luxury segments,” said the Port of Toulon Bay in a press release.

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
20 September 2021

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