Var Provence said that since the call of Mein Schiff 2 in La-Seyne-sur-Mer on Sept. 16, Var Provence’s boutique ports have seen a significant number of calls on a daily basis, welcoming successively five cruise ships on their shores.
According to a press release, the peaks in cruise traffic in Var Provence are usually in spring (April-May-June) and fall (September-October). This has held true since the resuming of cruise activity in France on June 30.
On Sept. 20, Bandol welcomed the Club Med 2. The next day, on Sept. 21, Saint-Raphaël welcomed the SeaCloud II and Saint-Tropez welcomed the Club Med 2. On Sept. 23, the Star Clippers sailed into Bandol and on Sept. 24 into Saint-Tropez.
According to the press release, passengers truly enjoyed their visit to these destinations. They were allowed to stroll around freely (in line with the coronavirus protocol) and were warmly welcomed there.
The Var Provence Cruise Club has set up the “Cruise Friendly” approach – a specific welcome dedicated to cruise passengers on their arrival. A Cruise Friendly map is given to them by hostesses, listing the stores, restaurants and leisure service providers in the city that have undertaken to respect the specific criteria of the charter.
These businesses are all mobilized and waiting for their visit, ready to give passengers a warm welcome, including special discounts for any purchase. This approach enhances the experience of cruise passengers ashore and is gaining growing interest internationally as new ports join the Cruise Friendly network of best hospitality destinations: Reunion and Martinique Islands, the ports of Sète and Yokohama, and others to come.
The Var Provence team is now working on a new website and a Cruise Friendly application that will allow passengers to geolocate themselves easily during their visit and discover the shopping routes and sites of tourist and cultural interest.
Var Provence expects 20 additional calls before the end of the cruise season at the end of November for a total of 44 calls and 20,000 passengers in 2021.
With 186 calls and 200,000 passengers expected in 2022, the cruise activity in Var Provence should reach the same volumes as in 2019 and return to its cruising rhythm.