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Cruise season 2024: Chioggia confirmed as a preferred destination for the luxury segment

Chioggia is confirmed as a hub for luxury cruises in the Adriatic Sea.  Due to open officially on February 26 with the arrival of Viking Saturn, Chioggia’s cruise season was presented during a press conference at Chioggia Town Hall held earlier today  in the presence of stakeholders and authorities including Mauro Armelao, Mayor of Chioggia; Serena De Perini, Councillor for Port affairs of the Municipality of Chioggia; Fabrizio Spagna,   Chairman and CEO of Venezia Terminal Passeggeri S.p.A.; Fulvio Lino Di Blasio, President of the North Adriatic Sea Port Authority and lieutenant Ottavio Cilio, Second-in-Command at Chioggia’s Harbourmaster’s Office.

The outlook for 2024 is positive and confirms that the decision to focus on the luxury sector, after the arrival of the first ship in June 2022, is producing the desired results. In 2024, Chioggia  is expected to serve as homeport for more than 30 port calls, with arrivals forecast to be in line with last  year, when 48,000 passengers were handled,  up almost 180% compared to 2022.

Three companies will call at the port of Chioggia, 90% of their passengers will come from outside Europe,   with the USA, Australia and Canada representing the main countries of origin. The proposed itineraries will last between 8 and 13 days and will have an open formula, with embarkation in Chioggia and disembarkation in another port of call in the Adriatic Sea or along the Adriatic-Eastern Mediterranean route. VTP, the Port Authority and institutions joined forces with the aim of crafting an integrated and enhanced service offer that can be attractive to cruise companies and in line with the hospitality standards of luxury tourism, involving cruise operators, travel agents, shipping agencies, local operators and stakeholders in the process.

The growth of the cruise offer in Chioggia was driven by investments made by Venezia Terminal Passeggeri  (VTP): started in 2023, they will continue in 2024 for a total amount of over 200 thousand euros to improve and strengthen the infrastructures for coordinating passenger flows. In the coming months the plan envisages the purchase of new equipment to enhance safety and security services,  interventions to optimise facilities and the updating of IT systems for managing ships and passengers.

The Mayor of Chioggia, Mauro Armelao stated: “Cruises are a great opportunity for our town. It is a new type of tourism that we have never had before and which is proving financially for many businesses in our historic centre and beyond. We must get better at welcoming tourists in Chioggia, offering them interesting experiential travel options and we are working on this. I wish to thank the President of the Port Authority of Venice and Chioggia, Fulvio Lino Di Blasio and also VTP for believing in us, and in what the town can offer. Thanks also to the Harbourmaster’s Office, which takes care of everything related to safety. The revival of the Porto dei Saloni with the arrival of cruises has always been one of the objectives of this Administration. We will continue on this path, since Chioggia is already a cruise destination. I am glad and proud to have made a decisive contribution to the achievement of this important goal.”

The Chairman and CEO of Venezia Terminal Passeggeri S.p.A., Fabrizio Spagna, underlined: “In 2022, when the sector was still recovering from the pandemic, we embarked on a forward-looking journey to let the port of Chioggia become an important hub for a rapidly growing luxury cruises sector. In just two years, we have been able to grow from 17,000 passengers and 13 calls to almost 50,000 cruise passengers and 30 calls scheduled for 2024, with Chioggia serving as home port for a number of cruise lines and the port embracing  this new type of traffic. We are aware that there is still a long way to go and that we can improve our provision of services, but I am convinced that we are on the right track. Chioggia has all the characteristics to become a cruise destination capable of offering interesting tourist packages to visitors arriving by ship and it can be a convenient place of departure for excursions in the area“.

The President of the North Adriatic Sea Port Authority, Fulvio Lino Di Blasio, stated: “A year ago we set ourselves the goal of making Chioggia a sustainable cruise destination with international appeal using an innovative model of tourist offer and use. Today, thanks to the collaboration and dialogue with the Municipality, the Harbourmaster’s Office, the operators and the citizens, we can say that we have laid solid foundations for achieving such goal. In fact, the port of Chioggia was the protagonist of the pilot project – “Chioggia cruise destination” – which saw a wide participation. The forecasts for the upcoming cruise season show that Chioggia can play a prominent role in the luxury cruise segment,  in tune with the latest macro-trends in the industry. Two years ago we encouraged  Chioggia to become a party to the Blue Flag agreement  aimed at making port operations  more eco-sustainable by  reducing the impact of emissions from cruise ships mooring in the port, to the benefit of citizens and port operators. The Blue Flag agreement  will be flanked by other initiatives such as, for example, the  design of an environmental monitoring network for assessing air quality and noise and its  installation at the port of Chioggia. We  want to make Chioggia more competitive as a port of call, reconciling economic and social development with the environmental protection, to the advantage of  both port operators and local businesses”.

Ottavio Cilio, Second-in-Command of the Harbourmaster’s Office in Chioggia, said: “The Harbourmaster’s Office has been committed to  ensuring  that safety conditions are always met at the port, enabling Chioggia to land its third cruise season. Our focus has always been on the protection of both the ‘ship system’ and the port terminal, coordinating and supervising the implementation of the necessary interventions from the point of view of safety and security. With reference to technical and nautical safety, Chioggia Harbourmaster’s Office has been looking after  manoeuvring and mooring at the Saloni terminal to ensure safety, taking into account the characteristics of the vessels calling there (size, draught, manoeuvring capacity), infrastructural conditions (seabed, quays and port furnishings),  weather and sea conditions (winds, currents and tides) as well as the reciprocal interaction of such domains and ensuing risks, which are mitigated by the skills and professionalism of the technical nautical services available on site. In the field of security, the Harbourmaster’s Office has supervised the drafting and implementation of plans, procedures and measures aimed at preventing and protecting the ships and the terminal from criminal threats targeted at passengers, operators and transported goods. The port of Chioggia can boast a high security level, which is a prerequisite for a cruise destination, but also an added value: combined with the  remarkable attractions of the location, high safety standard make Chioggia attractive to the cruise segment, which is very demanding because of the exclusive clientele it serves.