Southern Adriatic Ports Joining Forces

The Italian ports of Bari, Brindisi, Manfredonia, Barletta and Monopoli have joined forces as the Port Network of the Southern Adriatic, marketing themselves to cruise lines.

Bari and Brindisi are turnaround ports with fully equipped terminals. Bari will have more than 200 cruise calls in 2018 from January through December and Brindisi almost 50 from March through November.

The other ports are smaller. Monopoli is projecting 22 calls, mostly by Grand Circle, which features cultural immersion experiences for the passengers on its small ships, as well as Crystal, Sea Cloud and Variety Cruises. Manfredonia is expecting two calls for the year by Variety.

According to Port Network President Professor Ugo Patroni Griffi, these southern ports are the new hot spots for Adriatic and Mediterranean cruises. He said the area offers a wide range of attractions from Gothic churches to Romanesque abbeys and medieval castles to extensive sports and leisure facilities in addition to culinary treats, wine and olive oil tastings.

Griffi said that plans call for expanding and enhancing the cruise facilities in Bari, which is already handling large AIDA, Costa and MSC ships. Last year, Bari reported 164,000 homeported passengers and 398,000 transit passengers. This year calls for a total of 650,000 passengers, with the growth being attributed to an increase in winter calls. The port can handle ships up to 330 meters in length.

Brindisi can also accommodate ships up to 330 meters in length. MSC has scheduled 40 calls for this year with the Poesia in addition to calls by Silversea, Seabourn, Viking and Windstar.

Barletta, Manfredonia and Monopoli can accommodate ships up to 160 meters alongside.

The six ports cover some 250  kilometers of coastline

Griffi also noted that the port network is working with two area international airports to better service air/sea passengers.

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