On the morning of May 5th the port-city of Taranto welcomed the MSC Seaside, smart-ship belonging to the prestigious international MSC cruise lines. The port tugs greeted the fleet’s admiral ship with spectacular water games, paying a homage to both the citizens and the cruisers who admired the never seen before skyline in the so-called Mar Grande (“Big Sea”), one of the two seas lapping the city.
This call marks Taranto Cruise Port’s first partial turnaround operation and call since the Port Network Authority of the Ionian Sea has trusted Global Ports Holding Plc with the management of the Port.
The cruise season of the destination Taranto starts with the maiden call of the MSC Seaside, giving the “sea capital” of Taranto a first-rate position on the global passenger traffic panorama.
After the majestic entrance in the port and the safe berthing operations, homeporting activities were carried out efficiently in the newly established cruise terminal, set up in record time by the Taranto Cruise Port and now operational.
The traditional maiden call ceremony and crest exchange took place at 12 on board of the ship with the participation of local authorities and port operators, welcomed by the MSC Italy Country Manager Leonardo Massa and the cruise ship captain Marco Massa. The ship will continue to interport at Taranto Cruise Port throughout the summer season.
Out of the 897 passengers, 443 chose to explore the city of Taranto through a protected ashore visit thanks to the MSC health and safety protocol “safe bubble”. Furthermore, for the first time ever the port of Taranto has become point of embarkation with its first 126 passengers setting sail from the San Cataldo Pier.
The MSC Seaside – coming from Syracuse and headed to Civitavecchia – cast off at 6 p.m. and is scheduled to come back to Taranto each Wednesday until November 10th. The ship will call at the port each week in the framework of the MSC Seaside Mediterranean itinerary including the ports of Genoa, Civitavecchia and La Valletta (Malta).