Cartagena’s splendour and the eminent growth of its port tourist activity were the main protagonists at Cruise Excellence Awards 2019, the main event of the kind in the Spanish cruise industry. Organised by Cruises News Media Group, the 2019 edition was held in El Batel Auditorium, where the best cruise lines, tour operators, consignees, harbours and destinations of the last year were awarded for their activity in a sector that makes over €1480 Million every year.
The event, held in Cartagena for the fourth consecutive year, marked its XII edition paying tribute to the Spanish Navy and the Port Authority (Autoridad Portuaria de Cartagena), responsible for positioning the city as the harbour destination with the fastest growth in the last few years with estimates predicting more than 160 stopovers and over 270000 visitors in 2019.
The honorees were chosen through a macro-survey developed among national cruise passengers. Costa Cruceros stood out winning three prizes, whereas Pullmantur received two including the Best Crew award. In turn, the Port of Barcelona was chosen as the Best Spanish Port.
Special mentions were also made during the ceremony to acknowledge the great port development of Leixões Port (Portugal), the environmental commitment and innovation capacity of the cruising company Intercruises or the professionalism and devotion of Emiliano González, chairman of MSC Cruceros, awarded with the ‘Andrés Mira Domenech’ prize for his contribution to the strategy of the cruise market growth.
Besides the acknowledgements of the industry, the event was liven up with pole dance shows or a variety of videos presenting the historic development of the cruise tourism from its early days to the present. Comedian Sr. Corrales was the host of the gala and made a display of his talent with humorous remarks about the city cultural heritage or the popular ‘asiático’ coffee.
The Cruise Excellence Awards 2019 edition has been promoted by the Port Authority (Autoridad Portuaria de Cartagena), Cartagena City Council (Ayuntamiento de Cartagena) and the Murcian Regional Tourism Institute (Instituto de Turismo de la Región de Murcia) with sponsoring from local companies such as Mediterranean Unique Experience.