French Riviera Ports are expecting a strong 2019 in line with or slightly up from 2018, according to Jean Marc Berard, CCI ports manager (Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie).
“Our forecast is for 85 calls and 38,000 passengers in Nice, 88 calls and 207,000 passengers in Villefranche, and 46 calls and 455,101 passengers in Cannes and Antibes,” he explained.
Bookings for 2020 suggest a similar traffic volume. New callers will include the Celebrity Apex, Ritz Carlton’s Azora, Ponant’s Le Jacques Cartier and the World Explorer.
“We are focused on the needs and trends of the industry,” Berard said. “We are also working with local interests, such as the French Riviera Cruise Club, and with the ports to share best practices.
“Many of our destinations are famous, like Cannes because of the film festival, and the port facilities are conveniently located in the towns and close to sightseeing opportunities, as well as shopping, train stations, and airports.
“Working together, we also coordinate the traffic to avoid saturation and congestion. Also, Villefranche has no size limits for calls, while Nice serves as a turnaround port. Nice will soon inaugurate a tramway stop, providing a direct link to the airport.”
While Villefranche has no limits on ship size, it is a tender port, and the shoreside infrastructure can accept up two to three ships at the same time. Cannes is also tender port, and the longest pier in Nice is 210 meters.