THE Port of Malaga expects to recover the arrival of cruise ships in the second half of the year.

According to Carlos Rubio, president of the Port Authority of Malaga, shipping companies have already scheduled the arrival of ships for this year.

“Consolidated stopovers with scheduled routes are expected in the second half of the year,” Rubio said in an interview with Europa Press.

The stopovers, however, will not be like those prior to the pandemic, as the cruise ships will arrive with partial capacity.

The last cruise ship that sailed into the port of Malaga was last year, March 14, since then these passenger vessels have remained off limits in Malaga water, with professionals in the sector eagerly waiting for the day that brings an end to the cruise shutdown.

The ban on the docking of cruise ships due to COVID-19 mobility restrictions has been ‘a hard blow’ for port activity, representing a 25% drop in the sector.

Despite the halt of cruise ships docking at Malaga port, Rubio has said that the sector has continued working hard, with regular meetings with shipping companies ‘to prepare the way for when ports open’ with ‘detailed health and safety protocols’ marked out.

In fact, the Port Authority and the cruise terminal of Malaga have already been issued a COVID-19 safety certification and is ‘perfectly prepared for when stopovers resume.’

Professionals in the sector are optimistic that, if all goes well, traffic could resume this year, greatly thanks to the increase in vaccination.

Rubio considers vaccination a ‘priority’ indicating that some shipping companies “may only accept passengers who have been vaccinated”.

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