Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2023

187 Hosted in Corfu at the end of May 2023, the 62nd MedCruise General Assembly highlighted the Mediterranean region’s collective strength of purpose and achievement. The conference agenda tackled heavyweight issues head on, addressing topics such as the new European Union border management system with purpose and clarity. Accessibility challenges in ports was given a similarly rigorous review, with many delegates acknowledging the need to do more. “MedCruise has always been a trendsetter for the cruise industry,” said Figen Ayan in her welcome address, referencing the key pillars of the association’s success as: “respect, harmony, strength and community.” Ayan is an inspiring and empathetic leader who has steered the association through a difficult time. These skills will be pivotal while its grapples with other topics discussed in Corfu, including island port infrastructure challenges, particularly in contemplating shore power; the demand for port and regulatory differentiation between small and large ships; and the constant barrage from noisy, and often ill-informed industry, critics. Infrastructure improvement works continue at pace across the region as ports and destinations seek to win cruise calls and improve services. In Barcelona, Spain, for example, progress continues to agree a concession to build a new terminal on a 54,000-square-metre plot on Adossat wharf. Royal Caribbean Group and a joint venture between Norwegian Cruise Line, Viking Cruises and Virgin Voyages are the two known bidders for the 450-metre wharf line. Elsewhere in Spain, Tenerife is pursuing an extended season beyond the MEDITERRANEAN: REPORT Making progress in the Med Not so long ago, the Mediterranean cruise season lasted for six or seven months, now it’s eight or nine, and soon it will be year-round. Jon Ingleton shares how MedCruise members are preparing for this growth The Old Fortress was built in the Venetian era and is just one of many historical buildings cruise guests can visit while exploring Corfu “ MedCruise has always been a trendsetter for the cruise industry” Figen Ayan MedCruise