3 international cruise operators visited Cantabria

Representatives from three international cruise operators visited Cantabria to deepen their knowledge of the region as a destination.

The promotional campaign, organized by the Ministry of Tourism of Cantabria, the Port Authority of Santander, and the Santander City Council, aims to position the port as a preferred stopover destination for cruise companies.

Representatives from the companies WindStar Cruises, Aboard The World, and Azamara, three of the most importanr international cruise operators, will visit some tourist locations in Cantabria and also Santander city. They had also visited the Port of Santander as part of a familiarization trip aimed at positioning Cantabria as a cruise destination.

This trip is part of the promotional efforts made by the Government of Cantabria to revitalize this booming sector and enhance the arrival of more cruise ships as a strategy to boost tourism throughout the year.

The invitation to the cruise operators has been jointly extended by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Sports, the Santander City Council, and the Port Authority, as part of a set of actions outlined in a protocol signed by the three institutions. The goal of this protocol is to position the Port of Santander as a preferred stopover destination for cruise companies, highlighting and promoting the tourist attractions of the region and the city, as well as the services and infrastructure of the Santander port in comparison to other competitors.

Gustavo Cubero, the General Director of Tourism and Hospitality, has emphasized that the variety, accessibility, and differentiation of Cantabria’s tourist offerings «make our destination very attractive and adapt well to the preferences and demands of cruise passengers.»

Cubero, who met with representatives of the cruise operators , noted that boosting this sector is part of the Tourism Ministry’s strategy because «the cruise market has a significant economic impact on the city hosting the port and its surroundings, both in terms of direct spending and the generation of associated employment.»

He also pointed out that this commitment to cruise tourism «aligns with the two main objectives of Cantabria Tourism: internationalization and seasonality reduction.»


The fam trip also received support from the Spanish Tourist Office (OET) in Miami, under the jurisdiction of Turespaña, which was responsible for selecting the participants.

These participants are visiting some of Cantabria’s most iconic attractions to get a sense of what the region has to offer. They have taken a panoramic tour of San Vicente de la Barquera and Comillas, walked the streets of Santillana del Mar, and explored the Altamira Museum. Additionally, in the capital of Cantabria, they will visit the Botín Center and the city center, and they will have an in-depth exploration of the Port of Santander, in a visit organized by the Port Authority.

The Port of Santander expects to close the year 2023 with fifteen cruises and more than 21,000 passengers, which is four fewer stops than in 2022 but with a thousand more passengers.

Improving these numbers for the coming year is one of the goals set by the three involved institutions, who have the ‘Santander Cruise Deluxe’ brand as a tool to consolidate synergies and as a promotion platform. Their website and social media channels serve as a hub for receptive offerings for cruises stopping in Cantabria.