A further step was taken by Marbella this week towards its dream of becoming a port of call for the lucrative cruise ship market.
In the absence of a port big enough to take full-sized cruise ships, the local council has awarded a contract to build a small quay extension in the main Puerto Deportivo marina, near the old town. This will take shuttle boats from large ships anchored offshore. Tenders are common sights in many smaller destinations used by cruise ships.
Cruise companies have shown an interest in calling at Marbella for some time and a recent plan to build a proper terminal in an expanded La Bajadilla marina (to the east of the old town) did not materialise.
The town hall says the work at the Puerto Deportivo, which will see a 58-square-metre waiting area added to a stretch of quay near the port's mouth, should take two months to complete once started. Businesses operating in the well-used marina, including bars and restaurants, will be consulted over the best time for the works to start.
A new pedestrian path will lead from the quay to the main area for port visitors, avoiding the nearby pumps used for refuelling boats.
Puerto Deportivo is the only one of the four marinas in Marbella run directly by the council and bosses also still want to build an improved link from the Paseo Marítimo to the marina's own bars and restaurants.