29 August 2022 – Welcomed by the staff of Cagliari Cruise Port and by the local cruise cluster, at 09:30 in the morning moored at Rinascita pier the Odyssey of the Seas, magnificent queen of the seas of the fleet of Royal Caribbean International, part of the Royal Caribbean Group which, with 42 ships and 5 different brands, controls almost 26% of the world cruise market.
Quantum Ultra class, the Odyssey of the Seas is one of the newest members of the Royal Caribbean family, christened on November 13, 2021, in Port Everglades, Florida. It can accommodate up to 5,510 passengers and, with 346 meters in length and 8.5 meters in draft, is the largest cruise ship to ever berth in the port of Cagliari. Involved in an itinerary started on 21 August in Rome (Civitavecchia) and which includes, as well as Cagliari, Santorini, Mykonos, Bodrum, Messina and Naples, it arrived in the Sardinian capital with almost 3,700 passengers on board, all eager to discover the beauties of the city and of the territory of southern Sardinia.
It is the first Odyssey of the Seas call in Cagliari. For the occasion, a crest exchange ceremony was held alongside the ship, attended by Raffaella Del Prete, General Manager of Cagliari Cruise Port, Massimo Deiana, President of the Port Network Authority of Sardinian Sea, with the Marketing Manager, Valeria Mangiarotti, and Alessandro Sorgia, Tourism Councilor of the Municipality of Cagliari.
Today's date represents an extraordinary event in the 2022 cruise calendar due to the presence of three contemporary calls of large cruise ships: beyond the Odyssey of the Seas, in fact, the Rinascita pier hosts, as every Monday, Costa Firenze, now in its twenty-first call, a Costa Group ship, the main client of the Sardinian port, while the Sabaudo pier welcomes AIDAstella, at its third call, part of the fleet of AIDA Cruises, the German brand of the Costa Group.
This triple call brings about 8,000 cruise passengers to Cagliari, an important milestone that not only shows a clear recovery in the sector after the market closure due to the pandemic, but also highlights the attractiveness of the Sardinian port and the important work of promoting the destination implemented in synergy by Cagliari Cruise Port, Port Authority and Municipality.
With the aim of increasing the number of cruise ship calls in the island's capital, Cagliari Cruise Port will attend the Seatrade Cruise Med in Malaga in mid-September, the most important cruise fair in the Mediterranean. This participation, promoted by the Municipality of Cagliari as part of the "Cagliari: destinazione crociere" project, represents a great opportunity for interaction with the representatives of the world's leading Cruise Lines, a valuable showcase for the destination and a moment of updating and planning.
“Three large ships in port are a beautiful picture and represent a challenge, won thanks to our experience, to the services offered to Cruise Lines and guests and to the intense collaboration with the entire local maritime cluster, from pilots, moorers, tugs, to tour operators and port agents, with the essential activity of the Harbor Master and the Port Authority – says Raffaella Del Prete, General Manager of Cagliari Cruise Port – We are pleased to have welcomed the Maiden Call of Odyssey of the Seas, which marks the return of Royal Caribbean to the Sardinian port. This year around 120 calls and 170,000 passengers are expected in Cagliari, and the numbers for 2023 speak of further growth, with several days of co-presence of more ships. It is therefore necessary to continue to collaborate in synergy with the territory and the institutions, to guarantee tourists and the local community the best possible experience”.
“The inaugural call of Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas, combined with the concurrent calls of Costa Firenze and Aidastella of the Costa group, represent for Cagliari and the ports of the network a further impetus towards a future of exciting growth for the cruise market – explains Massimo Deiana, President of the Port Network Authority of Sardinian Sea – This result has been achieved through the constant and fruitful synergy with all the players involved in the sector and, in particular, thanks to an incessant systemic promotion activity carried out by the institution despite the objective limitations of the pandemic period. A past that we have decisively overcome to aim, already in the coming months, to an increase in promotional action in view of next international events”.
“The arrival in Cagliari of these 3 large cruise ships reveals the crucial importance of the great teamwork carried out incessantly in recent years, even during the lockdown, by the municipal administration represented by me, Cagliari Cruise Port and the Port Network Authority of Sardinian Sea – says Alessandro Sorgia, Tourism Councilor of the Municipality of Cagliari – Today's date collects and shows the fruits of this collaboration, also demonstrating how much cruise tourism also represents an excellent vehicle to promote our beautiful city”.
Since 2016 Cagliari Cruise Port has become part of Global Ports Holding (GPH), the world's largest cruise port operator with an established presence in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Asia-Pacific regions, including extensive commercial port operations in Montenegro. With an integrated network of cruise ports serving cruise liners, ferries, yachts and mega-yachts, GPH operates 26 cruise ports in 14 countries and continues to grow steadily, providing services for 15 million passengers and reaching a market share of 29% in the Mediterranean every year.