The Port of Malaga closes out its 2009 figures with a hefty increase of 38.32% in passenger traffic. The new cruise traffic infrastructure has facilitated the arrival of a total of 302 ships during the past business year, an increase of 12.6% over 2008. Thus, in 2009 a total of 488,108 cruise passengers arrived at the Port of Malaga, and its operations fulfilled the needs of passengers and the ships themselves in an exemplary manner. The industry’s most important shipping lines have shown enormous interest in positioning their ships in the Mediterranean city of Malaga on Costa del Sol in Spain since the passenger terminal went into operation in December 2007.
The connections by road, airport (international) and rail that make it possible to be in Madrid in two and a half hours also facilitate tourist access to other points of interest, making the Port of Malaga a gateway to the interior of the province, the country and the rest of the world.
The Port of Malaga expects to receive a total of 630,000 passengers travelling aboard 322 cruise ships in 2010. That means an increase of the number of cruise passengers arriving in Malaga City of 29.06% over the previous year. As far as Malaga Port as home port and interporting port calls are concerned, the cruise shipping lines will continue to bet on the port facilities in Malaga during 2010, both as origin and destination of their cruising itineraries. The Port of Malaga predicts the embarkation and disembarkation of 234,000 passengers during 2010, which would be an increase of 119.87% over the previous year.
A total of seventeen ships also visited the Port of Malaga for the first time. Notable among these was the “MSC Fantasía”, a new acquisition by the Italian shipping line MSC Cruceros, which opened the cruise year at the port facility with a first port call in January 2009. Such other ships as the “MSC Splendida”, “Costa Luminosa”, “Vision of the Seas”, “Grand Voyager”, “Carnival Dream”, “Seabourn Odyssey” and “Zenith”, among others, also made calls at the Port of Malaga in 2009.
Cruise ship traffic at the Port of Malaga has been on the increase not only because of the brand-new infrastructure at the port facility itself, which is capable of handling ships of any size, but also because of the ample cultural and gastronomic offer in the city’s historical district just a few meters from the port. The connections from Malaga by road, the international airport and fast train railway makes it possible to arrive from the Capital of Costa del Sol in Madrid in two and a half hours and also making the Port of Malaga a gateway to the interior of the province, the country and the rest of the world.
The Port of Malaga expects to welcome a total of 630,000 passengers aboard some 322 cruise ships in 2010. This would be an increase in cruise passengers of 29.06% over the previous year. As far as home port and interporting port calls are concerned, the cruising lines that are including Malaga in their programs will continue to bet on the port of Malaga during 2010 both as origin and destination of their itineraries. The Port of Malaga thus predicts the embarkation and disembarkation of 234,000 passengers during 2010, which would be an increase of 119.87% over the previous year.
Current market needs compel the most competitive ports to adapt their facilities to industry demands. In this regard the Port of Malaga has become an example to be emulated, according to experts, due to the investment it has made in order to welcome large cruise ships on Costa del Sol.
The growth of cruise ship traffic in the Port of Malaga has thus caused construction to be stepped up on the second phase of the East (Levante) Maritime Station, whose project has an investment of fifteen million Euros. Last October the Port of Malaga, for its part, inaugurated the terminal’s North Dock, which cost 12.5 million euros. Once the enlargement of the East (Levante) Maritime Station in Malaga has been completed the passenger terminal will have a total area of 13,700 square meters. It will be able to operate as two independent terminals each with its respective dock (North and South), which will make it possible to handle two cruising ships at once in the port of Malaga.
The Port of Malaga also has berths for medium-sized and small cruise craft at a space on Dock 2 of the port facility that is being remodelled for public use, and within which is located a small passenger terminal for the greater convenience of cruise passengers arriving and departing from Malaga.
The Port of Malaga, as part of the Port of Malaga Special Plan whose goal is to more closely integrate the port with the city, has granted the space needed for the creation of new urban facilities devoted to entertainment and cultural activities. Pier 1 will thus dedicate 14,000 square meters to commercial uses and restaurant services and 4,000 square meters to cultural uses. It has also reserved 170 frontage meters with 24 berths for large sporting and recreational craft with lengths of up to thirty meters. 36.7 million Euros have been budgeted to these works.
The project regarding Pier 2 is known as El Palmeral de las Sorpresas and will have a small passenger terminal and a port museum. A third building will house the Aula del Mar (Sea Classroom) marine research and environmental education centre. 20 million Euros will be invested in this facility and it is expected to be completed before the end of 2010.
Within the context of integrating the port of Malaga as a leisure port in the City Centre of Malaga a new leisure port is to be built in the district of San Andres that will offer 630 berths for boats of up to fifteen meters in length, satisfying the great demand in the province of Malaga for leisure ports and dockings for small boats.