French ports docked in Miami once again [fr]
At the Cruise Shipping Miami, the organization Atout France brought together a diverse roster of French cruise destinations placing an emphasis on French Mediterranean ports, river cruises and French overseas regions.
As explained by Tiana Gamez of Atout France, the tradeshow called now the "Seatrade Cruise Global" is still the epicenter of the cruise industry. On her part, Christelle Maubec, a Representative of the Port of Marseille, reveals the new Marseille/Provence attracting more and more tourists.
Interviews of Tiana Gamez (Atout France) and of Christelle Maubec (Port of Marseille).
E-toile: At the Cruise Shipping Miami tradeshow, which is considered by professionals to be the epicenter of the cruise shipping industry, the French ports are once again greatly represented on the "French Pavilion". Would you be able to entrust us the two or three main reasons for their presence in Miami?
- Tiana Gamez of Atout France: Yes of course.
First of all, I must specify - and it is important to note in order to respond to your question- that the show is now called “Seatrade Cruise Global.”
The official announcement took place at the opening of the show by its organizer, UBM, which acquired the important society of publication, Seatrade.
This yearly gathering in Miami Beach reinforces its characteristics of the first global platform dedicated to this sector. We find the decision makers of all the worldwide cruise ship companies, the “destination” representatives of more than 130 countries, as well as hundreds of contractors of the industry. Miami is therefore a must for the facilitation of the exchanges, but also to be acquainted to the trends that develop in this sector.
During the 2015 edition, key industry players have confirmed the public’s enthusiasm for cruises with the number of cruise ships that is increasing and a growing number of passengers: there were 22.1 million passengers in 2014 and the CLIA – Cruise Lines International Association- expects 23 million passengers this year. To accommodate these new passengers, 22 new cruise ships will take to the seas and rivers of the world in 2015.
To meet the demands of "Millenials" (also known as the Millennial Generation or Generation Y), cruises are now being equipped to offer sports activities on and internet solutions on board for passengers to play and stay informed.
Another growing trend is holiday themed cruises. The « destinations » that are ports and cities want to develop itineraries appealing to specific customers. The package is therefore geared to a niche or a segment of the population with a dimension of uniqueness.
French ports come to sell their products, which are more and more diverse while keeping with the unique character of the cruise companies. Based on this principle, Celebrity Cruises for instance has developed a cruise dedicated to the Cannes Film Festival.
e-Toile: This year, the tourism development agency of France, Atout France, organizer of the French Pavilion focuses particularly on the Mediterranean ports.
What are the advantages emphasized for cruise passengers to increase the visibility of these southern ports?
- Tiana Gamez of Atout France: The role of Atout France is to communicate and promote the many packages we mentioned earlier, while highlighting the attractive features of the different French destinations.
This year, the Mediterranean ports, the river cruises represented by CroisiEurope, and the overseas’ destinations, especially French Guiana, are on the forefront.
We promote their extraordinary cultural potential and their many tourist attractions, which have the advantage of being close to one another and not far from the stops. This proximity combined with the unique character of the area is one of the major assets of the French and Mediterranean ports, as well as those in Guiana.
The aim is also to present new opportunities. We handle cruises devoted to Cannes, as well as those dedicated to « romance », which take you to St. Tropez – a theme destination which was chosen as one of the top 10 romantic outings by USA Today, recently.
e-Toile: The city of Marseille, which has close relations with Miami-Dade County, stood out in the international press in 2013 and 2014: Marseille was chosen by National Geographic as one of the top 10 seaside towns to visit in the world.
In 2014, more than 7 million tourists and almost 1,3 million cruise passengers were able to experience the attraction and energy of the city.
How does the port and, more broadly the city, manage to make itself stand out so well?
- Christelle Maubec: The Marseille port is very much open to the Mediterranean, and wide open to the Provence’s area. It is also very spacious, as it can accommodate 7 ships at once and without any size restrictions.
Marseille and its port where subject to renovations thanks to the unprecedented Euroméditerranée urban project, which completely redesigned the waterfront. A boulevard along the coastline welcomes visitors and the arches of the Cathedrale de la Majeure house commercial halls where splendid boutiques have set up shop, such as one for the perfumer Fragonard.
The docks and the Joliette have also been fully renovated, and of course, we cannot ignore the MUCEM, the new national museum internationally welcomed both for its architecture and for its collection.
Also, being the European Capital of Culture in 2013 has undeniably instilled in the city an energy and attraction that brings in rewards.
In 2015, there are 500 projected stops, including 22 part of « Allure of the Seas ».
The outlook in terms in visits is from 1.4 million to 1.5 million cruise passengers in transit or at port. All lights are green to being the second largest real estate project Euroméditerranée 2.
You are all welcome to discover these new destinations!