Michèle Valandina

Michèle Valandina

Michèle Valandina French correspodent


A graduate from Lyon University, where she specialized in foreign languages and American Literature, Michèle worked as an interpreter/translator (English, German and Italian) for major international events before entering the diplomatic world for a few years. As a Paris-based freelance travel and lifestyle writer, she has been a contributor to a host of publications and has long specialized in two sectors: cruising and wellness. Her features have appeared, among others, in Le Monde, Le Figaro, Le Figaro Magazine, Les Echos Week-end and periodicals dedicated to the MICE sector. She has also featured on radio and TV travel programmes and since 1992, has been the author of the only French cruise guide, Croisières Passion.

After a flat year, the French cruise market registered 3.4% growth in 2018, with 520,800 passengers, up from 503,800 in 2017.

Posting significant growth in 2018 and even better figures expected this year, Marseille continues as France’s leading cruise port and is eying 2m passengers in 2020.

CroisiEurope is offering new itineraries for 2020 in Egypt, Zimbabwe, India and an expanded European cultural programme, as well as launching a new river ship.

Relatively unknown to the cruising public in France but convinced of its growth potential there, Oceania Cruises is expanding its presence in the market.

Antoine Lacarrière has left CLIA as general manager, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, to work for French theme park Le Futuroscope.

 

Exceptional ice conditions forced Ponant's Le Boréal and Le Soléal to abandon their Northwest Passage expeditions.

MSC Cruises’ Paris-based general manager Patrick Pourbaix has been set a challenge: to almost triple passengers to more than half a million a year by 2026 and make it the leader in the French market.

After a year of terrorist attacks and floods in 2016, France’s river cruise business had a setback but last year it bounced back with 9% growth as foreign passengers returned, according to Voies Navigables de France (VNF).

The Saint-Nazaire shipyard of STX France, which is moving closer to being under Fincantieri’s control, will be known again as Chantiers de l’Atlantique once the deal is complete.

If 2017, with 1,487,313 passengers, showed a dip (7%) compared to 2016, significant growth (13.3%) is projected to resume this year for France’s leading cruise port, Jean-François Suhas, president of the Club de la Croisière Marseille Provence, said during the recent 18th edition of the trade event Top Cruise.

Page 1 of 3