Taranto: ‘New Place to Visit’ for Cruise Ships

Taranto is eyeing building its cruise business and has attracted calls from Marella and others

A major cargo port in southern Italy has its eyes on the cruise industry as Taranto is welcoming more cruise calls on a yearly basis.

Cristina Carriere, head of promotion for the port, said the progress really started in 2017. The first cruise line to call was Marella, which will be back this year for seven calls along with ships from Saga and New Caledonia. For 2019, Carriere said Marella has already booked berth space for two of its vessels.

“We would like to attract more luxury ships,” said Carriere. “Taranto is great for passengers who are looking for a new place to visit.”

Located near Matera in Italy, the city offers various heritage sites as well as a national archaeological museum, and beaches. Matera is scheduled to be Europe’s Capital of Culture and is around an hour drive from the port.

The port in Taranto can host ships of any size, Carriere explained, and is close to two international airports, giving it the possibility to be in the discussion for homeporting options.

“Taranto is not like Venice or Genoa … we want to offer something less mainstream, as an alternative experience,” she added.

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