The cruise ship Amera, consigned by Perez & CIA and owned by Phoenix Reisen, an important German tour operator which also operates a fleet of cruise ships, in what is the first visit by a cruise ship in Cantabria since cruise activity was stopped due to the pandemic of Covid-19.
To commemorate the first call of this ship in the port of Santander and the arrival of the first cruise ship in nineteen months, the President of Cantabria, Miguel Angel Revilla, accompanied by the President of the Port Authority, Francisco Martin, the Mayor of Santander, Gema Igual and the Director General of Tourism, Marta Barca, presented the captain, Elmar Wilfried Muehlebach, with a commemorative plaque and a collection of books about Santander and Cantabria for the library on board.
For the president of the Port Authority, this visit represents «an important step in the return to normality» and in the recovery of traffic that supports the tourist industry, «one of the industries most affected by the pandemic». Sr. Martín also pointed out that both the 460 crew members and the 603 passengers travelling on the AMERA visited the Autonomous Community with «compliance with all the health measures established», both by the shipping company and by the national and local authorities.
The head of the APS has also highlighted «the necessary institutional collaboration» that takes place in this type of stopover, highlighting the support that the port receives from both the regional government and the City Council to guarantee «top quality» attention to cruise passengers. In this sense, he highlighted the creation of the Santander Cruise Deluxe brand under which the Port, Santander City Council and the Government of Cantabria operate, for the promotion of Cantabria as a cruise destination, presenting the region as «a safe, sustainable and innovative destination» both for the more experienced cruiser and for those who are new to this way of travelling.
For his part, the President of Cantabria, Miguel Angel Revilla, stressed that the arrival of the Amera in the port of Santander after more than a year and a half is «a symptom of the return to normality in all senses». Revilla also pointed out that the figures for the pandemic in Cantabria are beginning to fall «which makes us look to the horizon with optimism».
The mayoress of Santander, Gema Igual, who also wanted to be present at this welcome to the AMERA cruise ship, stated that this is «one of the first milestones of recovery due to the economic impact generated by the cruise ships» and highlighted the importance of the institutional collaboration that takes place in the cruise sector.
The ship Amera, 205 metres long, arrived in port at nine o’clock in the morning from Ferrol and left the port at five o’clock in the afternoon to the port of Le Verdon (Bordeaux). Of the 603 cruise passengers, mostly Germans, 200 took a panoramic tour of the city to see its main attractions, while 171 enjoyed combined visits between Santillana del Mar and Santander.
This stopover marks the beginning of cruise activity, which is expected to increase in the coming months, as shipping companies continue to plan new itineraries.