2022.10.27 conferenza COSTA

Costa Crociere to debut in Taranto in 2023. Stopovers every saturday and regional excursions from 3 June to 7 October

PORTO OF TARANTO, 27 OCTOBER 2022  - Taranto will become a new port of call for Costa Crociere in the summer of 2023. From 3 June to 7 October the Costa Pacifica, an Italian-registered ship from the Costa fleet, will arrive in Taranto every week, as part of an itinerary that explores the Greek islands.

The announcement was made today, during a press conference organized by Taranto City Hall, with participants including Rinaldo Melucci, the mayor of Taranto, Sergio Prete, president of the Ionian Sea Port System Authority and acting commissioner of the Port of Taranto, Gianfranco Lopane, Region of Puglia Councillor for Tourism, Raffaella Del Prete, general manager of Italian cruise ports at Global Ports Holding, and Mario Zanetti, president of Costa Crociere.

The Costa Pacifica is scheduled to make a total of 19 stopovers in Taranto, on Saturdays from 8am to 5pm.  In addition to Taranto, the ship will also visit Catania, La Valletta (Malta), Mykonos (Greece) and Santorini (Greece), allowing guests to enjoy on a unique holiday experiencing the best of the Greek islands, two fantastic destinations in Puglia and Sicily – two of Italy’s favourite regions among international tourists – and the island of Malta. 

On this itinerary, Taranto will be both a port of call, which can also be accessed as part of “fly+cruise” packages, and a port of transit for guests who board in other ports, particularly in Catania. The thousands of Italian and foreign tourists who will arrive in Taranto will be able to visit the city and local area independently, or by choosing from the extensive range of organised excursions on which the company is working, with support from local institutions and operators. More specifically, the plan for tours in Taranto is focusing on visits to the historic centre, the Cathedral, the Castello Aragonese and the MarTa archaeological museum, while trips outside the city will take in the main provincial and regional attractions, in addition to a catamaran tour of the Gulf of Taranto and Ionian Sea

2022.10.27 conferenza COSTA2 2022.10.27 conferenza COSTA3


According to the mayor Rinaldo Melucci, “Costa Crociere’s arrival is not just excellent news for the city’s entire hospitality system; it also confirms what we have been maying for some time: Taranto is growing as a tourist destination, it is consolidating its appeal. The rotation of operators is a symptom of the market paying attention to a destination that still has not yet expressed full its potential. We will always offer to fully cooperate with anyone who believes in the regeneration of our city, and with Costa we have found that harmony that we had already found with other operators in the sector. We are certain that our port will continue to grow and that it has the vitality and capacity to attract many more companies”.

Sergio Prete, president of the Ionian Sea Port System Authority said “The strategy to develop the cruise sector at the port of Taranto is now a priority for the Ionian destination, which is occupying a position of increasing prestige on the map of Mediterranean cruise itineraries. The new partnership is possible thanks to the understandings reached with local and regional institutional actors and the port operators, especially the Maritime Authority, and will be provide an extra stimulus for the Ionian city to take advantage of its historical, architectural and natural heritage through tourism. The port of Taranto is also a natural landing place for exploring the city’s surroundings, which stretch over many different areas until reaching the provincial boundary. With the challenge of homeporting, made possible with the upgrading of the boarding and disembarking procedures for stopovers, the Port of Taranto has confirmed its place as pivot infrastructure in an efficient intermodal system, opening the local area up to new scenarios that can drive the economy and further develop the city of Taranto’s tourism sector”.

Councillor Lopane stated that “The arrival of another mayor player – namely the Costa group – in Taranto confirms the attractiveness and beauty of the city and its port. As the Region of Puglia we are following the cruise and nautical tourism sector very closely and will continue to work alongside the Municipality of Taranto to grow that sector.For this reason, today we are announcing an important measure to encourage maritime tourism: in the coming days we will publish a notice to finance communication and promotional initiatives in support of the Puglia brand by cruise companies and tour operators who organize charter chains in the boating sector.400 thousand euros are being allocated on an experimental basis for the activities that will take place in 2023. The literature tells us that six out of ten cruise guests say they want to return to the cities at which they land, which has a significant impact on the economy of those places. Data acquired by the Pugliapromozione Observatory reveal that 90% of tourists arriving in Puglia by sea, mainly on cruise ships, have never visited our region before, and are arriving for the first time by sea to visit the main tourist attractions while their ship is docked here. Therefore, with this notice, cruises and nautical tourism will become an opportunity to showcase, increase visibility and incentivise travellers to repeat the experience for several days on a return trip to our region”.

Costa Crociere places Taranto on the geographical map of valued cruise tourism.This new addition will further contribute to the process of developing the city’s tourism sector”, said Mario Zanetti from Costa Crociere, “allowing our guests to discover a largely unknown destination that truly has a lot to offer. To ensure that Taranto becomes an established destination for cruise tourism, collaboration with local institutions and operators is essential, and I thank them for the support they have shown to date. It is necessary to work together to ensure that the city has the services it needs to enhance cruise guests’ experience of Taranto, as we have seen with the port facilities and organised excursions. I am certain that with everyone’s help we will be able to achieve great results”.

Raffaella Del Prete concluded that “This is a truly positive year for Taranto Cruise Port. Costa Crociere’s decision to add Taranto to its itineraries is further, most welcome, confirmation that comes just a few months after being awarded the prestigious “Seatrade Med Cruise Award 2022” as the year’s emerging destination, which was won alongside the Port Authority.These results are not arriving by chance, they are the fruit of a lot of preparatory work to promote the destination, carried out in synergy with local institutions and authorities. Furthermore, with Costa Crociere, Taranto is a home port for the first time; therefore, we will be handling a volume of arrivals and departures that Taranto has never seen before, for which we are prepared and in which we are confident, thanks to the experience gained by the local team in recent years and the extensive operational expertise of Global Ports Holding, the largest cruise terminal operator in the world, to which Taranto Cruise Port belongs”.

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