The Crystal Esprit will stop at the port in 2019, making the number of planned visits by such vessels 6 in total
The strategy that has been applied by PortCastelló to promote cruise ship traffic is bearing fruit. With the visit now planned by the ‘Crystal Spirit’, from the Crystal Cruises line, a total of six visits are planned for 2019. Consigned by Roca Castellón, this ship carries 71 passengers and 91 crew members. PortCastelló has prepared a dock in the interior harbour for the visit by this ship; it is luxury vessel 85 metres in length. In this way the passengers have direct access to the town of El Grao without the need of taking transport.
This visit is added to the four which are planned by Marella Cruises and the one buy Oceania Cruises, making six in total for 2019. This notable increase in the number of cruise ship visits – until now never more than two in one year- is the result of a new strategy put in place by the Port Authority of Castellón through the ‘Castellón Cruise Club’ an association made up of groups with interests in cruise ship traffic. The Town Council of Castellón, the Provincial Council of Castellón, the Valencian Tourist Agency, the Chamber of Commerce, Aerocas, the University of Castellón, the Port Castelló Foundation and the PortAuthority.
The person behind this new effort to promote cruise ship traffic is the president of the Port Authority of Castellón, Francisco Toledo, who decided to employ the services of a specialised company. According to Toledo, “The participation of all the sectors involved is the key to success, since the passengers are not only interested in what the port has to offer, but in what is beyond the port. ….It is necessary to define tourist attractions that are tailored to the tastes and needs of the cruise ship passengers and it is therefore essential that all sectors are well coordinated.
The result of this collaboration has been the setting up of various lines of work among which the personalised focus being offered to the each shipping company stands out, including trips that have been specifically planned. At the same time 25 commercial establishments in Castellón have signed on to the ‘Castellón Cruise Friendly ‘ plan. This is quality certificate which can be applied for by businesses interested in attracting cruise ship passengers and who are ready to conform to a series of requirements.