In 2020, more than 22 tons of food, blankets and furniture coming from the laid-up ships docked in the port of Marseille were given to the most deprived people.
The cruise activity suddenly stopped on the 16th of March 2020 with the declaration of a world pandemic and strict lockdown of populations. Since then, except for a slight resumption during summer 2020, the activity has been stopped and is forbidden in French ports.
With the health crisis, the cruise industry and the ecosystem have been strongly affected.
Globally, the Port of Marseille-Fos, within which is the Marseille Provence Cruise Terminal, has been welcoming 23 cruise ships since March 2020. During the repatriation phase in March and April and full coordination with local authorities, more than 6.500 passengers and crew members have been safely disembarked and taken back home.
Despite the extraordinary situation, as of the lockdown has been announced and the banning of cruise activities and thanks to the free initiative of cruise companies stuck in Marseille, ten food and furniture donation operations have been engineered by the Marseille Provence Cruise Club, with the full support of the Marseille Marine Firemen, the Customs, the Port of Marseille Fos Authority, the Marseille Provence Cruise Terminal, the Region Prefecture Authority and the local charities.
|Company / Ship||Date||Amount of collected tons||Beneficiary|
|MSC Cruises / MSC Magnifica||27th April 2020||4 tons of food and furniture||Banque Alimentaire (food bank), Marseille Marine Firemen, Red Cross|
|Costa Cruises / Costa Smeralda||13th May 2020||1,3 tons of food||Banque Alimentaire (food bank), Armée du Salut, Vendredi 13|
|Ponant / Le Lyrial – L’Austral – Le Boréal||19th May 2020||2,5 tons of food||Banque Alimentaire (food bank)|
|Ponant / L’Austral||09th June 2020||150m3 of furniture (5297.2 cu. ft)||Régie Service 13|
|AIDA Cruises / AIDAsol||31st July 2020 – 14th August 2020 – 07th September 2020 – 01st October 2020 – 22nd October 2020 – 13th November 2020||14 tons of food|
Banque Alimentaire (food bank)
These operations allowed to collect 22 tons of food and 150m3 of furniture, to the benefit of local charities, which redistribute these to people in great need; 2020 being a year of increased distress for families. As a result, 48 000 meals were redistributed, feeding 2 200 persons, or 22 meals per person.
It is to be noted that the Banque Alimentaire (French Food Bank) is a partner of most of local charities and therefore has redistributed about 5 500 tons of food and products in 2020. The help held by cruise ships has been therefore more than welcomed by charities, in a moment of great difficulty for an increasing number of persons in these rough times of crisis.
Before the success of such initiatives over a year and in such a delicate context, cruise companies are ready to repeat the experience, still for free, increasing, in that respect, their territorial anchoring in Marseille and Provence.
Jean-François Suhas, The Marseille Provence Cruise Club President, speaks out:
“Cruise companies are at the very heart of the success of cruise operations in Marseille, whether through its stopovers at the cruise terminal (MPCT) or through its technical stops at the Shipyard of Marseille (Chantier Naval de Marseille). In 2020 and from now on I hope, they honour once more their contribution to our territory by committing themselves humanly, then reinforcing their local anchoring, for the benefit of the most demanding people.
The 2020 ten operations have been handled perfectly. I feel deeply touched by all the implemented logistics and the links that have been forged by my team and the ones of the concerned cruise companies and charities, as well as the port services and local authorities, to allow these meaningful operations. This reflects the spirit of solidarity and mutual aid of all the companies in the cruise sector at all levels”.
The Marseille Provence Cruise Club is a strong partner to connect the stakeholders and make these salutary initiatives possible, supporting both the cruise companies and the local structures – private and public – in its first mission of common interest: to coordinate all partners for a virtuous and acceptable cruise activity which generates opportunities for the territory, in the interest of all users (residents, port operators, tourism professionals, tourists).