Alanya Turkey is hosting the 43rd MedCruise General Assembly this week attended by over 90 participants from MedCruise member ports and associates cruise lines members of the Turkish cruise community and media. Mary Bond attends the GA and reports the first day for Seatrade Insider. MedCruise.com provides you the latest on the most interesting discussions:
Following a Press Conference to local and international Press that attracted excessive interest of journalists MedCruise members gathered in discussions on the best way to advance collectively the prospects of their ports through the work of the Assocaition. Guest speakers including cruise line execs Claudius Docekal (Azamara) Russell Daya (Disney) Rob Roberts (Princess) Sander Groothuis (Windstar) and Thomas Rucht (TUI) participated in a tour of the old part of the city including the inner fortress of the 13th century Alanya Castle surrounded by a 6.5km long stone wall before heading down to the city centre located ten minutes walk from the cruise berth.
In port today Thomson Majesty currently on an itinerary starting and finishing in Marmaris which includes a two day stop in Ashdod Israel. Three of the four ships in Thomson Cruises’ fleet will visit Alanya this year.
Located on Turkey’s southern shores inbetween Antalya and Mersin the privately-owned port of Alanya can accommodate ships up to 300mtr long. Biggest ship to call so far in terms of gross tons is Costa Magica whilst Norwegian Jade is the longest vessel to tie alongside.
This year 53 ships will bring 56000 passengers which is a jump of over 50% compared to 31 calls and almost 37000 passengers in 2012 reported Haluk Sayman port marketing director.
MedCruise president Stavros Hatzakos said ‘Alanya is noted for its natural attractions and historic heritage and will many thousands of tourists visiting the area we are delighted that many chose to visit via cruise ships.’
However due to its location in the depths of the eastern Med Alanya is facing a drop in traffic over the next two years as calls to Egypt and Syria in particular are off the radar he revealed. ‘The unrest in these two countries started one to two years ago when lines were planning 2014 and 2015. Unfortunately we are going to feel the fallout from those decisions for the next two years as some vessels have been redeployed elsewhere’ he told Seatrade Insider. He calculates the number of calls in 2014 will be down to around 35 to 40 and also for 2015 but sees ‘much brighter prospects for 2016 as long as the situation in the region remains problem-free.’
Azamara executive Docekal spoke highly of Alanya’s offering as a destination but commented ‘to visit on a weekly itinerary around the Greek islands is too far out of the way. On the other hand it is well located for ships using Marmaris and Antalya as turnarounds or ships operating lengthier itineraries around the eastern Med.’
Holland America Line’s Prinsendam and Rotterdam were both first time visitors this year noted Sayman.
Princess’ Roberts a first time visitor to the city found this morning tour ‘very interesting and worth looking into more’. He said whilst Pacific Princess would have no problem tying alongside but more studies would need to be made to see if the larger Med-based Princess ships could berth in the port.
The 43d MedCruise General Assembly continues with esteemed guests and MedCruise members expected to discuss the latest developments of the cruise sector and the implications and prospects of cruising in the Med and its adjoining seas.
Highlights of the last day’s program included the “Cruising the East Med” Ports & Cruise Lines Session Chaired by: Stavros Hatzakos MedCruise President and with the participation of Haluk Sayman Alanya Cruise Port Claudius Docekal Azamara Club Cruises Erkunt Oner Tura Turizm Rob Roberts Princess Cruises Justin Poulsen Holland America Line and Thomas Rucht TUI Cruises
It also included the “Challenges and Prospects for the Cruise Sector In the Med” Ports & Cruise Lines Session chaired by: David Selby Travelyields Consulting Ltd with the participation of Russell Daya Disney Cruises Sander Groothuis Windstar Cruises Mark Robinson Intercruises Minas Myrtidis Norwegian Cruise Line and Miguel Reyna Royal Caribbean Cruises.
In line with the MedCruise tradition the associations members and associate members will have a first class opportunity to discuss the developments in the region while they will also devote time in B2B meetings with cruise lines executives.
The 43th MedCruise General Assembly is hosted by Port of Alanya one of the more than 100 ports that are members of MedCruise.
Set up in Rome on the 11th of June 1996 MedCruise is the Association of Mediterranean Cruise Ports.
MedCruise mission is to promote the cruise industry in the Mediterranean and its adjoining seas. The Association assists its members in benefiting from the growth of the cruise industry by providing networking promotional and professional development opportunities.
Today the association has grown to 72 members representing more than 100 ports around the Mediterranean region including the Black Sea the Red Sea and the Near Atlantic plus 30 associate members representing other associations tourist boards and ship/port agents.