The ports of Madeira received 12 cruises in 13 days, and today two ships called in Funchal, the Europa and the Iona, the largest vessel in tonnage that made its debut in the region.
The information was provided to the Lusa agency by the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ports of Madeira (Apram), Paula Cabaço.
“Our ports have already received 12 calls, in 13 days”, he said, stating that he is “confident regarding the resumption of activity in the cruise industry”.
The official added that “29 calls at the ports of Funchal and Porto Santo” are expected this month, which she considered to be “a test for the month of November” because 58 vessels are planned to dock in those island infrastructures.
According to data from Apram, the island of Porto Santo will receive, according to reservations, four ships.
“Of course, these are the numbers we have now, as is still known. We live in a context of uncertainty regarding the pandemic, but the fact that the vaccination has reached many people has brought confidence to the sector”, stressed Paula Cabaço.
And he added: “What was thought and wanted happened: with more people looking for cruises, companies prepared with demanding protocols, such as port infrastructure, the conditions were created to make it happen”.
Speaking about the two ships that docked in Funchal today, he said that the passengers and crew on board, the Europa and Iona, “which today made its first stop at the port of Funchal, are vaccinated and are regularly tested during the voyage”.
These two vessels involved the movement of a total of 191 vehicles: 55 buses, two vans, three letter T vehicles, 22 Tuk Tuks, 12 jeeps, three sidecars, 12 electric bicycles, seven old cars and 75 taxis, according to data from Apram .
According to the president, “cruise tourism is a bet of Madeira which, before the pandemic, left 50 million euros in the region annually”.
Regarding Iona, the president of the ports announced that she will make two more calls in the region until the end of the year, which are scheduled for November 17th and December 22nd.
The Iona is the largest ship, in terms of tonnage, 184,089 GT, although it is not the largest in length because it is 344 meters long, while the Anthem of the Seas, which has also been to Madeira, is 348 meters long and has a tonnage of 168 666 GT.
This cruise ship arrived at the Port of Funchal from Southampton and departs mid-afternoon for Tenerife, in the Canary Islands.
On board it brings 3,826 passengers and 1,608 crew and, being its debut in Funchal, there was the “usual welcome ceremony and exchange of allusive crests or plaques” outside, next to the ship.
As for the Europa, it transports around 340 passengers, arrived from the Azores and will depart for La Palma, also in the Canary archipelago.