For those who love luxury, the port in Malaga city was a joy to behold on Saturday. In fact, it was a day to remember, not just because an unusual number of cruise liners were visiting at the same time, bringing a wave of passengers into the city centre or to the buses which would take them to other destinations in the area, but because three of the five ships in port were the very height of luxury. Truly exclusive vessels, in fact.
Malaga is becoming an increasingly popular destination for these types of visitors, who travel the high seas in ships which bare little resemblence to the classic idea of a cruise liner. In fact, last year half of the ships which called into Malaga Port were of this type, and they have the added advantage of being able to anchor on El Palmeral, bringing their passengers within just a few metres of the historic city centre.
The three luxury ships which moored in Malaga on Saturday were headed by the Royal Clipper, from the shipyard which builds the biggest sailing ships in the world and a regular visitor to Malaga. In 2013 the company began offering people a new way of travelling by sea, in a sailing ship, and placing the port of the Costa del Sol's capital city firmly on the map of luxury cruisers. At 132 metres long, the Royal Clipper is considered the largest sailing ship in the world and is the only one with five masts and a total of 42 sails.
With this ship the concept of a cruise was transformed into a form of active and interactive tourism at sea, because it is the only one in which passengers can take part in sailing her if they wish, including climbing one of the masts, despite its 54-metre height. From the outside she resembles sailing ships of the past, but the interior is equipped with the latest technology and all types of facilities including a spa, gym and beauty centre in an area below sea level. The ship, which can be powered by sails or engine, has a maximum capacity of 228 passengers.
Next to her, in the spot usually used by the Melillero, was SeadreamI, a luxury yacht belonging to the SeaDream Yacht Club company. This is an exclusive boutique ship, owned by the company which was founded in 2001 and owns the only two boutique ships in the world. This type of ship, designed for passengers with extremely high spending power, is notable for the proportion of crew members to passengers, because there are 95 people employed to look after a maximum of 112 passengers. There is a golf simulator on board, bicycles to use in the ports, and the passengers can go kayaking and jetskiing.
On the Levante quay, the array of luxury was completed by the Wind Surf, the ship which inaugurated El Palmeral on Muelle 2 in 2012. She is another sailing ship, and has four masts reaching 52 metres in height.
These prestigious visitors were joined by Mein Schiff 1 and Prinsendam on Saturday, followed on Sunday by another luxury cruise ship, the Viking Jupiter, which was visiting Malaga for the first time.
Megayacht, Gene Machine, belonging to scientist and businessman Jonathan Rothberg also joined the party, docking in Malaga on Wednesday.