2016 promises to be a record-breaking year with 50 calls scheduled to dock at the Port de la Lune.
In a very short time, Bordeaux has become a favorite destination of cruise passengers worldwide.
The boom in sea cruise calls…
Last Sunday, the arrival of the “Braemer” cruise ship heralded the start of the cruising season, which continues through to the autumn. And this year, there looks likely to be heavy cruise ship traffic on the River Garonne with 50 calls already confirmed, compared to 35 in 2015.
The number of calls has doubled in just five years, ranking Bordeaux in second place nationally behind Le Havre.
Bordeaux’s success as a port of call is the result of joint efforts carried out by Bordeaux Port Atlantique, the Tourist Information Office and Bordeaux Métropole, the Communauté de Communes de la pointe du Médoc, the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Gironde maritime pilots, shipping agents and tour operators.
The growing appeal of the Bordeaux region to tourists and its location on the route between the Caribbean and the fjords explain its rising popularity as a port of call for cruise passengers.
Between 40,000 and 50,000 tourists on cruises are thus expected to visit Bordeaux this year.
… and river tourism
It wasn’t until 2011 that a French company – “Croisieurope” – started running the first river cruises from Bordeaux on the Garonne with vineyard exploration as its main theme.
And now, in 2016, there are no fewer than seven companies offering cruises on the Garonne lasting several days and attracting over 30,000 passengers.
The economic spin-offs from the sector are estimated at €2.5 M per river cruise vessel per year (source: Voies navigables de France).
The arrival of new companies has already been announced for 2017.
And finally, day cruises lasting just a few hours attract nearly 80,000 passengers per year.
(Sources: CP Bordeaux Port Atlantique, Sud-Ouest, Bordeaux 7)