The Port of Ajaccio, located in the capital of the island of Corsica, is making a change. The birthplace of Napoleon that is also known as the “Imperial City,” Ajaccio has been running an ambitious renovation program of nearly $50 million. The program has been updating the port of Ajaccio, the “Imperial Port,” as well as the facilities at the regional ports of Bonifacio, Porto-Vecchio and Propriano. The Ajaccio and South Corsica region will be at the 2008 Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention in Miami from March 10 to 13 at the French pavilion, booth 1056.

This long-term, ambitious strategy, undertaken by the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Ajaccio & South Corsica (CCIACS), has been committed to accompanying market growth and helping extend the cruise season. The program is adding a new berth in Ajaccio and refitting quays in the other ports to improve comfort and practicality for ships. It is also boosting ship security with the application of the ISPS Code (MARSEC level 1): PFSOs and other security guards, video cameras, and an ALS system. Ajaccio will have a worldwide toll-free number to improve customer assistance for travel arrangements and other information including cultural, practical, touristic, or shopping information. Callers will reach a professional operator who will guide them in the right way thanks to an interactive map.

The CCIACS benefits from a unique program of on-going investments to ensure a high level of quality in the running and equipping of four ports (Ajaccio, Bonifacio, Porto-Vecchio, Propriano), two international airports (Ajaccio and Figari), and a conference and exhibition center in Ajaccio. Ajaccio will be ready to welcome boats up to 330 meters long (about 1,000 feet) at the end of 2008, and the other three ports are currently ready for the 2008 season.

Ajaccio and the South Corsica ports confirm their position as leading actors in cruise development. Their geographical location, port facilities, as well as year-round shore activities, help these destinations play a major part in extending the Mediterranean travel season and following market growth.