The MSC Orchestra, which is using Malaga as a base port this summer, will arrive on the 19th. / MIGUEL FERNANDEZ

Three cruise ships with capacity for 9,000 passengers make a stopover in Malaga to coincide with the city’s fair

The arrival of one of the giants - the Anthem of the Seas, a Quantum-class cruise ship owned by Royal Caribbean International, on the 18 August stands out

Pilar Martínez

Three cruise ships, with a capacity to accommodate 9,000 passengers, will dock in the port of Malaga to coincide with the city's Feria celebrations. The first to arrive did so last Friday, coinciding with the fireworks that opened the proceedings of the summer fair. It was the Wind Surf, a five-masted foremast schooner considered one of the largest cruising sailboats in the world. With a capacity for 312 exclusive passengers, the ship docked at the Palmeral de las Sorpresas just a few metres from the bustle of the fair.

The arrival of one of the giants of the cruise sector, the Anthem of the Seas, with the capacity to carry almost 5,000 passengers, is scheduled for the 18th. This ship, weighing 168,666 tonnes and some 347 metres in length, will dock from Gibraltar at seven in the morning and will depart at four in the afternoon for Valencia. The Quantum class ship owned by Royal Caribbean International, is the second ship in a category that groups large tonnage ships, only surpassed by the Meraviglia class of MSC Cruises and the Oasis class of Royal Caribbean International.

A day later, the MSC Orchestra will dock at the port, sailing from Marseille, and will arrive in Malaga at around eight in the morning to leave for Cadiz at seven in the evening. This is the cruise that MSC has based in Malaga this summer season where its passengers embark and disembark in the city. This means that most travellers stay in the destination one more day either before leaving or on their return, which will allow them to experience the city’s Feria atmosphere without the classic rush of cruise ship excursions.

According to data from the International Association of Cruise Lines in Spain (CLIA), the average spend per cruise passenger per day in a destination is 341 euros, which represents a significant economic impact on the local economy of destinations.

In total forty stopovers are scheduled to arrive at Malaga’s port facilities for the summer season, which runs from 15 June to 15 September,

From the Port Authority of Malaga they point out that "although the summer season is not considered one of the high seasons for cruise tourism, it should be noted that it consolidates the figures for the same period of 2019. This is not the case for passenger numbers though, since the ships still do not carry their maximum capacity, although the total reactivation is expected soon”.