THE first cruise ship full of tourists in over a year docked at Valencia port yesterday (Sunday June 27).
More than 800 passengers, mainly German, disembarked from the Mein Schiff 2 to enjoy guided tours of the city in small groups and under strict COVID security measures.
The last liner to land in the capital of the Valencian Community arrived before March 2020, when the Spanish government decreed the State of Alarm and temporarily cancelled all tourist activity.
Both travellers and port authorities were visibly delighted to greet each other, as the Mein Schiff was welcomed with traditional festive music and jets of water fired by the tow ships bringing the cruise liner into the dock.
The visitors enjoyed a full day of activities in the city and surrounding areas, including bicycle and scooter trips through the centre, seafront strolls, visits to the City of Arts and Sciences, and walking routes in nearby towns such as Chulilla and the famous Sant Josep caves in the Vall d’Uixo (Castellon).
This first test run also included stops in Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Alicante and finally Barcelona, the next stop for the ship that left Valencia yesterday evening.
Cruise sector sources reveal that the long stoppage has inflicted losses of over €71 million to the trade, which they hope will be partly offset by the arrival of international liners from July.
With safety as the main concern of all those involved, strict anti-COVID measures are observed by crew and passengers including PCR tests, temperature controls, small bubble groups, track and trace systems, and a maximum limitation of 60% on ticket sales.