Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Genoa is expected to exceed one million cruise passengers in 2013

Written by Christiane Navas on Wednesday, March 27th 2013 à 11:48 | Read 1580 times

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Homeport of MSC, Genoa takes advantage of the growing number of Mediterranean cruises.

The Port of Genoa to continue to play the leading role in Italy (photo F.Dubessy)
The Port of Genoa to continue to play the leading role in Italy (photo F.Dubessy)
ITALY. With the Italian cruise market in decline in 2012 (down 5,5 % with 10.9 millions passengers), according to data released by Risposte Turismo, Genoa is playing its cards right with a slight increase (up 0.6%) in the number of passengers (797,239). Forecasts for 2013 remain optimistic. The number of cruise passengers should top the one million mark, enabling the Genoese port to go up two places in the Italian Cruise Terminal rankings, behind Civitavecchia, Venice and Naples but ahead Livourne and Savona.

Genoa is now home to Costa Cruises headquarters, but in 2003 the Italian ship owner preferred Savona, located less than fifty km away, as its homeport in Liguria. It was a painful divorce for the main Ligurian port which since 2005 has become the stronghold of MSC, who share their enthusiasm for it.

Following double-digit growth in 2012 with 163 stopovers, MSC anticipates a significant increase in the number of cruise passengers in 2013 thanks mostly to the arrival of a new ship, MSC Preziosa, and Genoa will host the launch ceremony on 23rd march 2013.

Complementarity with Savona and La Spezia

In 2013 Royal Caribbean Cruises will also continue its partnership with Genoa where the Legend of the Seas is based. Finally, the new German CEO of Costa, Michael Thamm, has reassured the Genoese.

The Italian owner announced that he increased staff numbers at the company’s headquarters in Genoa from 800 to one thousand people to strengthen the teams in charge of distribution in particular. He also stressed the complementarity with Savona, where ongoing work to double the cruise terminal (an investment of €9 million funded by Costa) sometimes requires them divert some cruise ships to Genoa where extension work on a 340 m dock on the Ponte dei Mille (€13 million) has already been completed.

The Liguria region is also making this complementarity a strategy for the port. In the market specific to cruises, the region has stated its ambition for Genoa, Savona (811,000 passengers in 2012, a 14% drop linked to the impact of the sinking of the Costa Concordia) and La Spezia (where construction work is planned to allow ships to berth), three ports within a 150-km radius, to become the number one cruise destination in Italy and a major one in the Mediterranean.

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