LONDON, August 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Cruise companies from across the globe are choosing Atlantic Europe ports in order to maximise the opportunities the region offers and to meet consumer demand for more interesting and less congested ports.
Cruise Atlantic Europe, comprises eight ports in five countries of the Atlantic front (Lisbon, Porto (Leixoes), A Coruna, Bilbao, Brest, St Malo, Dover and Cork), yet these ports are now seeing almost 800 cruise ship calls yearly, from more than 50 cruise companies, with 90 cruise itineraries in 2011 visiting two or more Cruise Atlantic Europe ports. And while Dover continues to be a popular embarkation port Lisbon, Porto (Leixoes), A Coruna and Bilbao are also operating turnarounds, thanks to improved cruise terminal facilities.
Helena Fernandes from CAE said: "We have seen a steady rise in the number and diversity of cruise companies stopping at our ports from frequent visitors like Holland America Line, P&O, Fred Olsen and AIDA to niche lines like Lindblad and Hapag Lloyd. There are many reasons for this increase but a key factor is that our ports are able to accommodate a range of ship sizes - anything from the sail assisted Sea Cloud and the intimate Sea Dream I to Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas at 160,000 tons."
It's not just the ability to cater for all ship sizes that is attracting interest in the region though. For cruisers these ports offer many more advantages. Fernandes continues: "The shorter cruising distances between our ports provide an opportunity to have more time on shore for cruisers to access the 14 UNESCO World Heritage sites and three European Capitals of Culture. Now with the range of excursions on offer, these destinations could see you climbing the mighty Mont St Michel, tasting port wine, sampling oysters or even hiking along Brittany's Crozon Peninsula. Experiences like these have caused the numbers of ships stopping at these ports to soar."
In addition at a time when air strikes, cancellations, ash clouds, earthquakes and terrorist alerts are rife throughout the travel landscape, Atlantic Europe could be seen to offer a more reliable choice for consumers. The region's ports are less congested than the Mediterranean and well placed for travel connections throughout Europe by air, rail or road - offering consumers the chance to discover a fascinating part of Europe in one trip.
Fernandes adds: "Our success proves that Atlantic Europe is becoming more than just an option for cruisers, the many advantages our ports offer make them must-see destinations. There really is no better time to see the other side of Atlantic Europe and we'd encourage everyone to take another look our cruise destinations."
To see more of Atlantic Europe visit http://www.cruiseatlanticeurope.com.
Notes to editor:
About Cruise Atlantic Europe
Launched within the framework of the Atlantic Area Trans-national Programme, Cruise Atlantic Europe is the initiative of a group of ports on the Atlantic front - Lisbon, Porto (Leixoes), A Coruna, Bilbao, Brest, St Malo, Dover and Cork. Its aim is to reinforce the position of the Atlantic Area in the European cruise market and to boost revenue from tourism activities.
SOURCE Cruise Atlantic Europe