With Spring here, the majority of cruise ships, having been based in the Caribbean over our winter season, will be returning to European locations including the Mediterranean mainly during April. Vessel itineraries show Cartagena Terminal is expecting a busy season for vessel calls throughout the remainder of this year.

We were favoured during the winter however with an increased number of vessel calls over and above 2018 visits and this month I attach my pictures of the two most recent ships here.

At this time, Cartagena remains unable to offer facilities allowing passengers to commence their cruise from here, although vessel calls will continue and indeed numbers are increasing, allowing transiting passengers the benefit of visiting our wonderful City and surrounding districts. Many lines offer the benefit of commencing cruises from other points of embarkation, such as Malaga, Alicante, Valencia and Barcelona. A number of travel agents and social groups arrange booking, including transport, from this region to board at points of departure, also arranging transfers/flights/hotel accommodation at other points further afield; one example being Venice, with hotel accommodation there or Madrid, depending on the organisation arranging the package.

One vessel featured here is MSC Sinfonia, having visited on 11th March. Passenger capacity is 2,679 with a crew compliment of 720.
MSC Cruises is a global cruise line based in Geneva, Italy and is the world’s largest privately held cruise company. A point of interest, as of 2017, is that 23,500 people were employed worldwide with offices in 45 countries and the cruise division of MSC – Mediterranean Shipping Company SA is the fourth largest cruise company in the World.

MSC Sinfonia commenced the cruise featured at Barcelona on 4th March, having arrived at Cartagena on 11th March directly from Tangier, Morocco and the subsequent evening departure was to Civitavecchia (for Rome). The majority of sailings for this vessel during the early part of this cruise season is within the Mediterranean with a further visit in Cartagena is scheduled for 24th April.

The second vessel is AIDAmar when here on Thursday 14th February. As will be noted from my pictures, graphics are extremely pronounced on the ship’s hull and other Aida cruise vessels within the fleet have a similar design. Aida cruises are American/British owned with a German cruise line based in Rostock.

The ship arrived in the morning of 14th February from Malaga on a round Med cruise, with evening departure for passage to Palma, Majorca. Throughout April the ship will be operating 5 and 7 day cruises from Hamburg and Rotterdam, subsequently on 27th April departing for base at Warnemunde operating 10 day Baltic cruises including calls at Gdansk, Tallinn, St Petersburg (previously known as Leningrad), Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen.

It is my intention to photograph future Cartagena-visiting vessels, giving brief details to publish within the Costa Cálida Chronicle, thus informing of types of vessels plus the operator to encourage cruising.

Meanwhile I wish everyone a pleasant Spring and Summer – if taking a cruise, ENJOY!