Taranto Cruise Port expects to welcome more than 110,000 cruise guests in 2023 as the Southern Italy destination continues a stable level of growth, local tourism and port officials said at a port briefing on January 20.
Celebrity Constellation to Open 2023 Season
Taranto tourism, governmental, and cruise port officials gathered on January 20 to review the Taranto Cruise Port’s performance in 2022 and look ahead to the 2023 cruise season, which begins May 9 with the arrival of Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Constellation.
The 2,170-guest ship will call twice at the destination in summer 2023, during sailings from Barcelona to Venice, departing May 2, and from Rome to Venice, departing August 26.
But officials said the port’s biggest customer this year would be Costa Cruises’ 3,780-guest Costa Pacifica, a Concordia-class ship that will homeport at the destination and operate 18 weeklong voyages roundtrip from Taranto June 3 to October 7. From Taranto, the ship will visit Catania, Sicily, Valletta, Malta, and Mykonos and Santorini, Greece.
In 2022 the cruise port received 54 ship calls (26 more than in 2021), bringing close to 110,000 passengers to the destination. The numbers reflect a 93% increase in calls and a 35% increase in guests compared to 2021. This year the port expects 40 calls by ships from seven different cruise lines.
General Manager of Taranto Cruise Port Raffaella Del Prete said, “We are pleased with the results of 2022 and ready to welcome the opportunities that 2023 holds for us, including the turnaround operations for the Costa Crociere, which is a new guest to Taranto Cruise Port.”
Port to Host Italian Cruise Day 2023
The port in October 2023 will host Italian Cruise Day, a major regional cruise conference organized by Risposte Turismo. The annual event addresses environmental, social and economic sustainability; new promotional and sales solutions, and he future of ship deployments in Italy and in the Mediterranean, among other industry topics.
General Manager Del Prete said, “The image of Taranto in the cruise panorama grows and strengthens and being chosen as the venue for the Italian Cruise Day 2023 is proof. This is an important opportunity to show the renowned beauties of the destination to the travel industry, together with the wide range of services and the operational capabilities with which we are equipped.”
Along with Del Prete, other speakers at the cruise briefing included Gianfranco Lopane, of the Council for Tourism, Development and Tourism Business of the Puglia Region; Rinaldo Melucci, the mayor of Taranto; Sergio Prete, president of the Port Network Authority of the Ionian Sea; Francesco Di Cesare, president of Risposte Turismo; and Fabrizio Manzulli, deputy mayor and member of the Council for Economic Development of the Municipality of Taranto.
Mayor Melucci said, “The role of Taranto within the cruise industry has been growing, thanks to the numerous calls of 2023 and to the opportunities offered by the Italian Cruise Day, when it comes to territorial marketing. Today, indeed, we announce this perspective that sees the municipality alongside the Port Network Authority of the Ionian Sea and next to the operators who believe in this challenge, which aims to change the future of a city that finally cultivates its tourist vocation.”
The Taranto Cruise Port is located at the Falanto Port Service Center. Taranto is located in Italy’s Puglia region, in the far southeast of the country.