Hosting the 44th general assembly of MedCruise, Castellon presented itself as a small, friendly Spanish town with a variety of attractions, some of which are quite unique. In addition to the Port Authority, the mayor of Castellon, the president of the county council and a representative of the tourism board took part in the event.
Running from May 21 to May 23, MedCruise attracted 125 participants from 66 members, plus three new members, Istanbul, Taranto and Trabzon.
Also participating were itinerary planners and port operations executives from several cruise lines, including Carnival UK, Costa, Fred. Olsen, Holland America, Silversea and Royal Caribbean.
Miguel Rojo, commercial manager for the Castellon Port Authority, noted the port’s location between Taragona and Valencia, and that it is the 10th largest of 28 Spanish ports. Last year, Castellon processed more than 40 million tons of cargo.
With only modest cruise traffic so far, Castellon has a 350-meter long pier for cruise ships, with a 16-meter draft and a width of 19 meters – big enough for temporary tents to be set up for ship calls and for shore excursion coaches to park alongside the ship.
The port offers a free shuttle bus to the center of the city which is approximately a 20 minute ride. Ships are welcomed with music, complimentary fresh orange juice and gifts for passengers and crew, and sent off with dance performances when they leave.
Castellon is ISPS compliant and there is no tug requirement.
Previous callers include Crystal and Fred. Olsen.
Among the many shore excursions is a boat ride in the longest, navigable underground river in Europe, a visit to Porcelanosa – probably one of the most advanced and largest ceramic tile factories in the world, with its nearly fully automated production lines; and visits to orange, olive, almond and truffle farms or vineyards, in addition to historical sites, shopping opportunities, sports activities, beaches, or culinary experiences such as the making of an original Paella recipe in a local restaurant.
A full report on Castellon follows in the next issue of the Cruise Industry News Quarterly magazine.
Photos: Castellon town square (top); fish market, robots at Porcelanosa, Paella preparation.