The Port Authority of Ceuta participated in the online meeting “Seatrade Cruise Virtual: expedition cruising”, a world event focused on cruises that every year meets the main agents of the sector.
On March 8th and 9th, the Port of Ceuta participated in the international event ‘Seatrade Cruise Virtual’. The event was held only online due to the influence of COVID-19. During the two days, the evolution of the industry regarding the pandemic, the experience of passengers, health protocols, the safety of passengers and some new technologies applied to ships were discussed.
This event is shown as an alternative to the traditional world Cruise event, which every year meets the main agents of the sector in Miami. A virtual meeting with the intention of generating new business relationships and, in turn, obtaining the most relevant information on the cruise area. Thanks to this new appointment, attendees have been able to investigate the most innovative products and services of the suppliers, contact other members of the community and check how to face the future after the pandemic.
At this time, the crisis generated by COVID-19 paralysed many economic sectors, such as tourism, of great importance for our country and for Ceuta. In Spain, since the central government decreed the state of alert and prohibited this activity (as in all of Europe), there has already been a year without cruises, with the exception of the Canary Islands where they began operations this winter with coastal traffic cruises. An inactivity that, if it started again, would boost activity in shops, museums and restaurants in the city, etc. In addition to these sectors, the transport sector, security and port services such as supply companies, companies in charge of managing of waste, pilots, tugboats, auxiliary services, ship agents, tour operators, in addition to the Authority itself are great beneficiaries of the arrival of tourists.
The Ceuta Port Authority is aware of the great virtues of Ceuta as a destination and wanted to expose it during these days to show the benefits of making a call in our city, which has port facilities specifically prepared to offer the best service to customers, with a new terminal fro cruises at the Spanish dock, near the city center, with simple and fast access for boats and passengers.
These values and the great attractions of the city of Ceuta stand out in the line of work that the commercial team of the Port Authority has maintained in 2020 and that now they continue to promote a program adapted to new forms of promotion with close contact with the shipping companies to provide them with all the updated information, enabling a virtual meeting managed by State Ports. The contacts focused on the itinerary planners of the respective shipping companies in the expedition sector, opening an opportunity to attract this type of exclusive tourism. The expedition cruise seeks very special destinations and experiences, counting on a more active and young passenger profile, concerned about the environment, interested in training themselves and learning more about local communities with sustainable and responsible experiences. Hence, the shipping companies that are dedicated to this sector are shipping companies with vessels of smaller size and capacity, considered luxury ones.
Despite the stop in the cruise activity, the Port Authority and specifically from the commercial area, we continued to work in a coordinated way with the sector (shipping companies, ship agents, tour operators, markets and public institutions) in a “safe tourism” that allows guaranteeing the quality of the offe with strict security protocols and new routes that diversify the offer of excursions for ships in Ceuta to prepare for the new way of travel and receive cruise passengers who arrive at the Port when the different Administrations give the authorization to these operations.
In addition to the demanding protocols established by the shipping companies to increase the safety of the destination, passengers and crew, the Port Authority of Ceuta and the Tourist Services of the City of Ceuta developed a diversified tourist offer within the city and its surroundings with “bubble” excursions when the central government authorizes the arrival of international cruise ships. These protocols establish exclusively guided excursions, small groups and more outdoor experiences, among others.
Regarding national cruises, the Ceuta Port Authority is in continuous contact with the shipping companies that carry out itineraries between Spanish ports to provide all the updated information on the measures adopted against the pandemic and to work in alignment to offer the greatest security to passengers. Likewise, the Port continues to collaborate closely with the institutions, at the local level, to adapt protection measures following the recommendations of the health authorities.