During the past decade both the Port and City of Ceuta have developed a clear vocation for the cruise sector. On the one hand the Port of Ceuta has improved its port facilities to offer better service to cruise vessels, and on the other hand the city has strengthened and offered various tourism areas and spaces which have increased the attractiveness of the city as a cruise destination.
The port bases its strength on the geography of Ceuta, its fascinating surroundings,its tourism possibilities with new infrastructures, the commercial experience and the existence of an entire continent to be able to benefit from the condition of a Spanish and European city. Cruise lines have found in Ceuta an excellent port of call, well adapted to the current state of the market.The city offers a large range of tourist attractions, culminating in tax advantages and a special tax structure (exemption from VAT) in a European city.
Cruise Infrastructure 2019
The port of Ceuta is going through one of its greatest transformations. New access gateways and improvements in docking spaces, dedicated to growing cruise traffic in the city, with intensive commercial and leisure activity. The port of Ceuta is continuing to improve its infrastructure, with measures especially aimed at allowing the docking of vessels up to 300 metres in length and nine metres of draft, now starting to produce results.
An investment of 2.2 million euros has refurbished the España pier and brought it up to proper standards for cruise tourism traffic.A new layout of the area is creating more space for easier passenger embarkation and disembrakation and for handling larger vessels.
During the past season a total of 11 large cruise vessels arrived at the port of Ceuta, carrying around 22,000 passengers and crew members.Construction works on the España pier allowed vessels such as Holland America Line’s “Koningsdam”, 299.97 metres long, and P&O’s “Aurora”, the largest vessels last year, to dock in Ceuta.
Cruise traffic using this refurbished pñier is growing. This is one of the few ports where cruise vessels dock within five minutes’ walking distance from the city center. It should be noted that the Port Authority has all the infrastructures required to provide complete services to cruise passengers in a unique city. In addition to the city itself, with business assisted by tax benefits and monumental geographic surroundings, the port of Ceuta is the best gateway for visiting Morocco through excursions to cities such Tangiers, Tetuan and Xaouen.
Forecasts for 2019 offer a similar outlook. While the number of scheduled cruise vessel port calls will be fewer than last year,the number of passengers visiting our city will remain steady, since large cruise vessels with greater individual capacity will arrive.
Finally, it is important to note that the Port Authority is planning the construction of a new pier for longer cruise vessels, which will enable us to expand our market and vessels, which will enable us to expand our market and definitively secure this traffic.
The most attractive
While Ceuta and its environs offer various attractions, the “Mediterranean Maritime Park” is among the most noteworthy, located in the city center and containing a natural paradise with spacious gardens and a solarium surrounding three large salt water lakes and an emblematic building. Ceuta is also a good base for “visiting Moroccan cities.” Tetuan is half an hour away, along the coast, and Tanger is one hour distant.
We have a series of quality riteria in our installations, which we apply to cruise traffic, the most important ones as follows:
- The cruise pier is appropriately organised. The walkways for passengers are appropriately marked.
- The cruise piers are continually cleaned according to set criteria.
- We avoid carrying out other port operations in nearby multi-purpose piers which could interfere with passenger embarkation and disembarkation.
- We specify and clearly mark passenger waiting areas.
- Bus parking is located in or very near the cruise areas.
- We have efficient shuttle service with 6 to 10 minute waiting intervals.
- Tourist information desk in the Terminal or docking area.
- Information is accessible by internet or public telephone.
- Ramps and services available for persons of limited mobility.
- A dedicated pier for serving all types of cruise vessels.
- Efficient security areas with capacity for embarkation and disembarkation.
- Environmental procedures nsatisfying the various European and international laws and regulations.