The cruise ship ‘Marella Explorer 2’, of the British shipping company Marella Cruise operated by TUI, has called at the Port of Almeria this Friday with almost 400 passengers and more than 660 crew members on board, coming from the United Kingdom.
The ship, which entered the port at 8.00 a.m., is on a route which began in Newcastle, in the northwest of England, and which is travelling along the entire Spanish coastline, so that its next port of call will be Cartagena, according to the Port Authority of Almeria (APA) in a note.
As this is the first visit to the Port, the president of the Port Authority of Almeria, Jesus Caicedo, received the captain of the ship, Mr Kostas, at the Muelle de Ribera 2nd alignment, where the traditional exchange of metopes took place, and welcomed the crew and passengers. The event was also attended by the territorial delegate of Tourism of the Junta de Andalucía, Vicente García Egea.
Caicedo celebrated that “little by little, the activity of cruise tourism is returning to normal” and showed his “confidence” that the strategy for the promotion of this tourist segment launched together with the City Council of the capital, the Provincial Council and the Ministry of Tourism of the Junta de Andalucía, “manages to attract more stopovers”.
According to him, this new impulse will also be helped by the reduction in taxes for shipping companies approved by the APA, and in the medium term, the project to extend and adapt the Muelle de Levante for cruise calls, a project that will be “an important boost” and “will allow cruise passengers to disembark just a stone’s throw from the city centre”.
During their stay in Almeria, many of the tourists have preferred to stay in the city and visit the Alcazaba and the Cathedral, among other points of interest; and other groups have opted for excursions to the Alpujarra, Mojacar and the Tabernas Desert.
The ‘Marella Explorer 2’ was built in 1995 – then christened ‘Century’ – and is 262 metres long, has a draught of 7.70 metres, a beam of 32 metres and a gross tonnage of more than 72,400 tonnes. On its ten decks, it has capacity for more than 1,800 passengers, and its usual crew is 850, a number that has been considerably limited due to the measures against covid.
Aimed exclusively at the adult segment, its features include an interior finish with a classic touch. Among other services, it offers a main swimming pool and a Jacuzzi, mini golf, eleven restaurants, a casino, eight bars and a pub.
Until November, six more cruise ships are scheduled to call at the Port of Almeria: the ‘Wind Surf’, which was in Almeria in August and will return in November; the ‘SS Splendor’, which will be in the Port on Sunday 3 October; the ‘Marella Explorer’ 2, which will make two more calls in October; the ‘Vasco de Gama’, which will visit the city on 17 October; and the ‘Spirit of Discovery’, which will do so in mid-November.
Both the cruise calls, as well as the visits that the tourists make on land, are in accordance with the ‘Sanitary Measures for the Re-establishment of International Cruises’, established by the Ministry of Health on the 16th of June.
In the case of the ‘Marella Explorer 2’, due to the covid protocol, and in order to guarantee safety on board, only passengers resident in the United Kingdom are travelling on the cruise. In addition, both tourists and crew have a coronavirus vaccination certificate, issued at least 14 days prior to embarkation.