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Marseille Provence Cruise Club chalks up 25 eventful years

PHOTO: ©FRANÇOIS JONNIAUX CRUISE_Marseille_Provence_Cruise_Club.jpg
With Jean-François Suhas, far left, anniversary party guests included George Azouze, former president of Costa France, and Hervé Bellaiche, group chief manager commercial marketing and communications, Ponant. The party took place at the Marseille Provence Cruise Terminal jointly managed by Costa Cruises and MSC Cruises
Marseille Provence Cruise Club celebrated its 25th anniversary with 250 guests from the local cruise community during a convivial evening at the Marseille Provence Cruise Terminal.

This was also an opportunity to reaffirm the club's commitments to environmental and social standards for a business that creates value for the whole region.

Officials, employees, partners, actors in ocean and river cruising and those who work with and support the cruise activity in the Marseille Provence region attended.

Founded by Jacques Truau

The club — founded in October 1996 by Jacques Truau, president until 2015, succeeded by Jean-François Suhas, at the association’s helm since — counts more than 75 members from the private and public sectors, including cruise lines, industrialists, shipyards, agents, shops, guides, museums, taxi companies and tourism offices.

Coordinating local ports and touristic initiatives, the Marseille Cruise Club is also at the heart of the river cruise activity in the Provence region.

Sustainable development

'Tonight we celebrate the story of an innovative and pioneering sector,' Suha said. 'I wish to underline the passion we all have for the sea and the desire to provide a cruise concept ever more inclusive and sustainable for the territory's development. We’ll have to meet many challenges. It’s up to us to take them on.'

Representatives from other French Mediterranean ports helped the club celebrate their work together to develop the cruise industry in a sustainable way. This cohesion among ports was crucial to restart cruising in France during the pandemic.


These 25 years also made Marseille the leading French cruise port and the fourth busiest in the Mediterranean.

Over the years, Marseille Provence Cruise Club's flagship projects included converting the former fruit wharves into a cruise terminal, relaunching the Chantiers de Marseille shipyard and widening the port's northern channel, enabling access to ships regardless of size and in all weather.

The club was also involved in facilitating community donations by cruise ships during the pandemic. At the same time, it was also active when Marseille turned into a port of refuge by taking in 23 cruise ships.

Priority green strategy

Since Suhas’election, Marseille Provence Cruise Club has focused on cruising's environmental impact as a major concern. At its instigation, the Marseille Port community implemented a proactive approach to reducing the impact of port calls and improving the quality of life for local residents.

The Marseille Provence Blue Charter signed by six leading cruise companies in October 2019, then seven more in 2021, covers of 97% of all cruisers passing through the port in 2021.

The club is also actively following the progress of the scheme to provide shore power at the port of Marseille Fos and to handle the latest generation ships with LNG bunkering and a dedicated local supply chain. 

It also brings together and speaks for the local cruise ecosystem by collaborating with associations for the protection of the environment and biodiversity.