Twelve cruises on board MSC Orchestra will start from Malaga Port this summer. / sur

Cruise business is on the crest of a wave in Malaga this summer

MSC will operate 12 cruises from the capital of the Costa del Sol from 30 June onwards and the company says bookings have exceeded all expectations

Pilar Martínez

It will possible to start a cruise from Malaga again this summer. The MSC line has programmed 12 cruises on board the MSC Orchestra this season, beginning on 30 June. The itinerary for the 11 days will include Cadiz, Lisbon, Alicante, Mahon, the Italian cities of Olbia and Genoa, and Marseilles in France, before returning to the capital of the Costa del Sol after one day at sea.

The MSC Orchestra can carry 3,223 passengers and approximately 1300 crew members.

Fernando Pacheco, the managing director of MSC Cruceros in Spain, says bookings have exceeded expectations and the company is already making plans for the summer of 2023, including the use of a bigger ship which can take 30% more passengers.

MSC Cruceros is now the company making the highest number of calls into Malaga Port, 52.6% more than in 2019. In total, 11 of its 19 ships will make a total of 29 visits to Malaga this summer.

Sources at the port say these MSC cruises will be bringing more than 40,000 visitors to the city, making a considerable contribution to the local economy. According to the CLIA, cruise passengers spend an average of 341 euros each per day.

Strong signs of recovery

The cruise sector is showing strong signs of recovery after having come to a forced halt at the height of the pandemic, and 41 ships will be visiting Malaga between 15 June and 15 September. These include some arriving for the first time, such as Seabourne Venture, which will be in port on 7 July, and World Traveller, which will arrive on 23 July and spend one night in Malaga.

The TUI company will also be basing Mein Schiff Herz in Malaga on a couple of occasions in July and August, starting and finishing cruises there.

“The summer is not peak season for cruise tourism, but figures for the next few months are similar to those of the same period in 2019. The number of passengers will be lower, because the ships are not operating at full capacity, but we expect to have made a full recovery by the end of the year,” the company said.