Among the ships due to arrive at the MedCruise member port, five will be maiden calls.
The first vessel to make an appearance will be Celebrity Constellation, while Costa Cruises will frequent Taranto the most with Costa Pacifica making 19 turnarounds there on sailings between June and October.
A new terminal on the west quay of San Cataldo Pier, currently being expanded, will help to facilitate the operations.
Plans for 2023
In October, Taranto will host the Italian Cruise Day organised by Risposte Turismo owing to collaboration between the Municipality of Taranto, the Port Network Authority of the Ionian Sea, Taranto Cruise Port and more.
Mayor of Taranto Rinaldo Melucci said the role of Taranto within the cruise industry ‘has been growing,' pointing to the number of calls scheduled for 2023 as well as next autumn's Italian Cruise Day. Announcing ‘aims to change the future of a city that finally cultivates its tourist vocation,’ he remarked on Taranto’s centrality in the Mediterranean Sea and its hosting of the 2026 Mediterranean Games.
‘As happened in the past, we will offer our skills and services to make the experience of cruise passengers unforgettable,’ he added.
93% growth in cruise calls on 2021 figures
The 2022 season closed with 54 calls at Taranto, 26 more than in 2021, nine of those being maiden calls. From those, it recorded almost 110,000 passengers - an increase of 28, 500 on the year previous.
It translated to a 93% growth in calls and a 35% rise in the number of cruise passengers, with MSC Cruises being the biggest customer last year.
Italian and French (73%), followed by German (15%) and Anglo-American (12%) made up the nationalities of those aboard.
‘We are pleased with the results of 2022 and ready to welcome the opportunities that 2023 holds for us, including the turnaround operations for Costa Cruises, which is a new guest to Taranto Cruise Port,’ said Raffaella Del Prete GM of Global Ports Holding’s Italian ports (Catania, Cagliari, Taranto and Crotone).
‘The image of Taranto in the cruise panorama grows and strengthens and being chosen as the venue for the Italian Cruise Day 2023 is proof. This is an important opportunity to show the renowned beauties of the destination to the travel industry, together with the wide range of services and the operational capabilities with which we are equipped.’
The plans were revealed today from inside the Hall of Mirrors, located in the building of the Municipality of Taranto. The press conference was opened by Fabrizio Manzulli, deputy mayor and council for Economic Development of the Municipality of Taranto. As well as Del Prete, speakers included: Council for Tourism, Development and Tourism, Business of the Puglia Region, Gianfranco Lopane; Mayor of Taranto Rinaldo Melucci; Port Network Authority of the Ionian Sea President Sergio Prete; Risposte Turismo President Francesco Di Cesare.