LONDON, Sept. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Since the inaugural Seatrade Winter Cruising Forum in Malta in 2008, increasing cruise passengers numbers have continued to demonstrate that the concept of winter cruising to warmer climes continues to grow from strength to strength, with a growing number of cruise lines adding these itineraries to their programmes. As well as the promise of more moderate temperatures, the other key appeal for travellers is the reduced number of tourists at key visitor attractions in the Mediterranean region.
Seasonal cruising is a worldwide trend, with the Mediterranean, Caribbean and Asia all year-round destinations. Winter cruising in Norway and Christmas markets in Northern Europe is attracting growing numbers of new to cruise and seasoned travellers alike, whilst the Middle East is a firmly established winter cruising arena. However, the concept is not without challenges; comprehensive itinerary planning and in some regions, weatherproof shorex options are essential, but as more ports and destinations expand their winter product offering and more ships are deployed year-round regionally, there is scope for further growth.
The 2015 Seatrade Winter Cruising Forum in Cartagena will bring together ports, tourism authorities and other cruise industry stakeholders for an informative conference to discuss strategies for additional deployment of cruise vessels to the region. There will be a strong focus on the entire Mediterranean and its adjoining seas, as well as presenting to the cruise operators an overall view of the facilities and attractions Cartagena and the Region of Murcia offer to the cruise passengers as an all-the-year-round destination. In addition, there will be discussions on the development of winter cruise itineraries for destinations further afield and lessons learnt so far.
The forum will also feature a dedicated workshop on the Mediterranean, focusing on both the success stories and the issues confronting the region as it continues to lead the way as an year-round cruise arena. Following tailored conference sessions, the workshop will give regional destinations an opportunity to present their product and services to the cruise lines in one-on-one pre-scheduled meetings.
Upon announcement of the Seatrade Winter Cruising Forum coming to Cartagena, Antonio Sevilla, president of the Port Authority of Cartagena, expressed his delight: "One of the Port of Cartagena’s main goals is to consolidate its business. During the last few years, we are witnessing an increase in cruising in the Mediterranean region. The Port of Cartagena is also increasing its cruise business, with more and more calls, attracting 115 ships and more than 134,000 passengers last year. Our next challenge is to expand the seasonality of cruise ship visits in Cartagena and to attract vessels also in winter season, in order to generate more benefits from this tourist activity."
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About the organiser
Seatrade is owned by UBM plc; for further information on UBM plc’s European business (UBM Live) visit ubmlive.com and for information UBM plc’s Asian business (UBM Asia) visit UBMAsia.com. Further details on Seatrade can be found at seatrade-insider.com
Cartagena has been one of the most important military ports of Spain since roman times. Many civilizations have settled in Cartagena leaving behind 3,000 years of history. During the last few years, Cartagena has witnessed an increase in cruise itineraries visiting the port, with more and more frequent calls. The expansion and development of the Cruise Terminal carried out in 2012, has provided a 4,500m2 berth that is 560m long and 12m deep, allowing two vessels to berth simultaneously. Last year Cartagena registered 115 cruise calls and more than 134,000 cruise passengers making a new record in the port.