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Port of Caleta de Vélez in the Axarquia region. E. Cabezas / Archive
Proposal to create network of small format cruises to promote cultural tourism in Malaga province, and these are the 19 resorts involved
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Proposal to create network of small format cruises to promote cultural tourism in Malaga province, and these are the 19 resorts involved

The idea is that the area between Almuñécar (Granada), San Roque (Cádiz) and Ceuta, passing through the Costa del Sol, will play host to sustainable coastal and river cruises

Tuesday, 26 March 2024, 17:07

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An ambitious project to create a new network of coastal and river cruises locations deemed sustainable nautical destinations in Spain (RED CCF) aims to further bolster cruise tourism along the Andalusian coastline.

The Andalusian Maritime-Marine Cluster (CMMA) presented a sustainable nautical destination study of the western Alboran sea. The meeting, held at the group's headquarters in Malaga city is part of the project to form the new network, which is funded by the European Union. The study identifies the western Alboran sea as an ideal destination for sustainable coastal cruise routes, which highlight culture and respect for the environment.

The presentation of the document attracted more than 30 nautical and tourism operators, including ship owners, hotel managers, leisure and tourism service companies, and marina managers, all linked to the so-called 'blue economy'.

Coastal cruises, defined within the framework of the CCF Network, are experiences that combine sailing with stopovers at cultural hotspots. The aim is to connect cruise ship tourists with the destination, but beyond the port. The study catalogued the resources of 19 coastal municipalities in the provinces of Granada, Malaga and Cadiz, including marinas and cultural heritage sites.

The project not only promotes sustainable tourism, but also boosts the economic and social development of the region, integrating technology and innovation for a more enriching representation of the cultural heritage, according to the network.

19 selected municipalities

The study proposes a detailed strategy to develop a route both at sea and through land. The implementation phase of the CCF Network, which includes workshops and the participation of different nautical and tourism operators, starts now, promising to "revolutionise the way nautical tourism is experienced in the area".

The idea is that the area between Almuñécar (Granada), San Roque (Cádiz) and Ceuta, passing through the Costa del Sol, will play host to sustainable coastal and river cruises. The CCF Network pointed out that the nautical-cultural experience includes at least one stopover where visitors can explore on land.

In total, there are 19 municipalities included in the study: Almuñécar, Salobreña and Motril, on the Costa Tropical of Granada; Nerja, Torrox, Vélez-Málaga, Algarrobo, Rincón de la Victoria, Málaga, Torremolinos, Benalmádena, Fuengirola, Mijas, Marbella, Estepona, Casares and Manilva on the Costa del Sol, San Roque (Cadiz) and Ceuta. Of the 16 ports, eight have provided the requested data and all of them are above 8.5 points out of 10 as being contenders for possible stopover points.

In these eight ports of call, around 200 easily accessible routes have been counted, 85% of them land-based. In the 19 coastal municipalities studied, 309 heritage sites have been detected, including churches and archaeological sites. In addition, an underwater augmented reality catalogue is proposed for four shipwrecks: the Arroz in Torrox, the Isabella (Benalmádena), the Botones (Marbella) and the Franceses (Ceuta). Visits to these sites could involve diving experiences.

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