Cruise ships in Malaga port. / salvador salas

Costa del Sol is expecting a boom in cruise tourism this year

The port in Malaga is set to welcome even more luxury cruise ships than the 293 which visited the city in 2022

MATÍAS STUBER MALAGA.

Anyone who thought that cruises would become a thing of the past due to the coronavirus pandemic was mistaken, as figures issued by Malaga Port can confirm. This year 315 cruise ships are due to call in to the city, even more than the 293 which visited the port in 2022.

The figures show that Malaga is becoming attractive to many cruise companies, and 17 of the ships which are scheduled to visit the port in 2023 will be doing so for the first time.

“This shows that all the work that has been done to attract cruise tourism is paying off. We are aware that this is an important sector to bear in mind and we are trying to develop Malaga as a base for cruises, and working alongside local actors to achieve that,” said the city’s councillor for Tourism, Jacobo Florido.

During 2022 there were plenty of examples of the sector’s recovery. For example, in the first week in November 21 cruise ships called into Malaga port, and taking into account that average occupancy was 75% this means that 36,000 visitors arrived in the city by sea in that week alone.

Scenic Eclipse II to be launched

The cruise calendar for 2023 also shows another milestone ahead: in June the Scenic Eclipse II is due to be launched by NASA astronaut Kathy Sullivan. The ship will have 114 suites with terrace, nine restaurants, eight lounges and bars, a luxury Spa Sanctuary and indoor, outdoor and plunge pools, as well as a marine platform, helicopters and a submarine.