Thursday, November 30, 2023 - 12:40 by ce-press
On October 26, Cesar Diaz was named the new chairman at the Port of Santander. A couple of weeks later, on November 17, a plaque exchange took place as Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ Bolette made her first call, but the last call of the season to the Spanish port.
Up until March of this year, Santander’s Passenger Terminal was used for both cruise and ferry but, starting this season, cruise traffic takes priority. This means that passengers are always within a few minutes walk of the city and will no longer have to take shuttle buses. An added bonus is that the terminal was refurbished recently and now has now a cafeteria/shop, a tourist office and exhibition room, as well as more room available inside for passengers and crew.
This new arrangement has been made possible due to the inauguration, earlier in the year, of a new terminal specially designed for ferry traffic and with LNG provision alongside.
On November 21, Santander Cruise Deluxe began a study into the impact of cruise on the city combined with a roadmap for the future. The town hall, local government and port authority are working together to develop cruise traffic and this study is aimed at setting up short and medium term actions in order to promote the destination, as well as developing and improving the cruise experience in the region and city.
At the end of January 2024, the results of the study will be shown during tourism fair Fitur win Madrid. “We do believe our port/city/region has a great potential for cruise to be developed. There are not too many calls, which can be a problem in other areas and there are plenty of possible excursions only 30 to 40 minutes away, for example Santillana del Mar and Cabarceno,” says Sophie Lanos, cruise manager Port of Santander.
Prior to the pandemic Santander recorded it best year yet with 21 calls. Next year there are 23 scheduled. Passenger numbers this year are expected to increase by nearly 20% to 23,817 compared to last year, with 40,000 estimated for 2024.