The Port of Toulon demonstrated its ability to provide emergency and crisis accommodation to ships unable to berth in Marseilles this past weekend, following a storm that hit the southeast of the Mediterranean.

The Port of Toulon was able to accommodate 18 ship unexpected movements, including six vessels in distress.

The storm swept across south eastern France, from Saturday afternoon until late Sunday night, with gusts of winds approaching 130/150 km an hour which forced a majority of vessels operating in the Mediterranean to divert their routes, according to a statement from Toulon.

Weather conditions caused the closure of the Port of Marseilles and all ships of the SNCM and CMN were diverted to Toulon.  A special authorisation was given by the prefectural government to provide and maintain the vessel activity to Corsica.

Cruise ships also called in the Port of Toulon/La Seyne over weekend, with passengers embarking and disembarking.

Among the ship diverted to Toulon/La Seyne were the Costa Serena with 2,230 passengers in transit and 862 embarking and 1,079 disembarking passengers. The L'Horizon with 1,340 embarking and 1,700 disembarking passengers. The Costa Luminosa with 1,979 passengers in transit – 569 embarking and 738 disembarking passengers. And the Grand Holiday with 1,400 passengers in transit.

Altogether, 12,000 cruise passengers were accommodated in Toulon over four days, according to the port. In addition were a number of ferries and their passengers, bringing the total passenger number to 14,500.