Cherbourg is the first Normandy and Atlantic port to join the network of Cruise Friendly destinations, alongside La Martinique, La Réunion, Yokohama, Sète, and 10 cities in Var Provence : St-Raphaël, Fréjus, Cavalaire, Le Lavandou, Hyères, Sanary, Bandol and Le Castellet and Toulon, La Seyne-sur-Mer where this approach was first launched in 2013.
The official signing session of the Cruise Friendly license agreement took place during Seatrade Cruise Global on its opening day Tuesday April 26th, on the French Pavilion booth.
In presence of Basil Gertis, newly elected President of the Var Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the Var Provence Cruise Club and Julien Bougon, Driector of Cherbourg en Cotentin Tourism.
Julien Bougon, Head of Cherbourg tourist office :
« We are proud to join today this « club » of best hospitality cruise destinations. Nowadays, more than ever after the pandemic, we need to send a strong message to cruise line operators about how committed we are towards their guests, providing them our Cruise Friendly guide to ensure they spend a great time visiting our destination »
Cruise Friendly: Smart Shopping tourism
To optimise their visit ashore, cruise guests are invited to download the Cruise Friendly app to consult a list of recommended members and not be missed tourist sites easy to find with GPS access. A « Smart Shopping Tourism » guide involving local merchants (shopkeepers, restaurants, leisure providers) who are keen in delivering a warm welcome to cruise passengers during their call and offer them a special discount or gesture for any purchase. Its aim is to strive for excellence through a bespoke welcome dedicated to passengers throughout their visit, leaving them with unforgettable memories and prompting them to return on a cruise or for a stay.
Cruise Friendly helps channel passenger flows to the relevant areas and to Charter partners enabling them to benefit from the economic spin-offs of the cruise activity.
Basil Gertis, Var Chamber of Commerce and Industry President :
“Following the COVID-19 pandemic shotdown, we are delighted to finally observe the resumption of cruise activity worldwide and specifically in France by welcoming cruise ships once again on our shores in 2022. Our Cruise Friendly approach has crossed the Pacific, the Atlantic as it is now deployed in Normandy which makes us very proud ! We truly cater delivering a sincere and warm welcome to cruise guests coming from different countries to help them grasp the very essence of what makes our destinations so special, its people, their authentic art of living ».
More than 1 000 merchants, leisure and tourism service providers are “Cruise Friendly” members throughout the network.
It prompts cruise lines to reschedule calls in these Cruise Friendly ports as their guests’ satisfaction rates are improving quite significantly.
Cruise lines are indeed particularly sensitive to the “gold standard” welcome efforts put in place by the Cruise Friendly destinations for their customers as a proof of the mobilisation of the entire city ecosystem. Most merchants see this as an opportunity to increase their revenues and they renew their membership each year. The Cruise Friendly network is expanding with new destinations planning to join in.
The Var Provence Cruise Club promotes 9 ports:
- Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer, Bandol, Sanary, the ports of the Toulon harbor (Toulon/La Seyne), Hyères, Le Lavandou, Cavalaire, Saint-Tropez, Fréjus, St-Raphaël.