Marseille is projecting more than 700,000 cruise passengers in 2009, including 500,000 transit passengers. Last year, Marseille recorded 140,000 passengers embarking and disembarking and 400,000 on calls, for a total of 540,000. The cruise traffic has been on a steady increase since 2000 when the port posted 163,709 passengers, including 23,142 who embarked and disembarked and 140,567 in transit.
The lines sailing from Marseille in 2009 include Costa with the Concordia, Pacifica, Marina and Europa; MSC with the Fantasia, Splendida and Lirica; Croisifrance (Louis) with the Orient Queen and the Coral; and CDF with the Bleu de France.
Last year, Costa, MSC and Louis were awarded the operating rights to the cruise areas and facilities located on the Leon Gourret pier. In return, the three lines have committed to 450 calls and one million passengers a year by 2011. The agreement also stipulates that the three companies must provide equal treatment to all operators calling, including other cruise lines.