2011 Review: The Mediterranean cruise market is growing at a rate of knots
As one of few tourist products to continue growing in a difficult economic climate, cruises did well in 2011. Europe, and particularly the Mediterranean, is the 2nd most popular area for cruises after the Caribbean! Marseille has got its bearings in this competitive market and is now the top departure port on the French market.
In 2011, Marseille welcomed over 800,000 passengers, 36 operators and 62 ships (including 17 inaugural ports of call); almost 15% up on 2010. No fewer than 9 companies had cruises departing from Marseille in 2011.
The number of cruise passengers is constantly growing in Marseille. Professionals supported by the Club de la Croisière Marseille Provence founded by the City of Marseille, Marseille Provence Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille have all had their hand in this growth.
Cruising in all its forms is now the most active international tourism option in terms of growth. The proof is in the pudding with new ships being added to a fleet of different sizes, styles and uses every year.
Cruising is a mode of travel, holidaymaking, leisure and transport. It is a major, original and diversified part of the tourism industry: leisure cruises on board large, modern, comfortable and lively cruise liners, specific cruises on board unusual, smaller and characterful boats, cruises on skippers, river cruises, coastal cruises, mini-cruises, cruises on ferries, luxury cruises with sophisticated service, adventure cruises and many more.
The cruise market is a mature one in the USA, UK and Germany but it is getting bigger and bigger in France.
These trends support both Marseille’s position in the sector and the forecast growth, close to a million cruise passengers in 2012.