Kuşadası Port hosts arrival of massive new cruise ship

Italy flagged Sun Princess, one of the largest cruise ships in the world, has arrived to Kuşadası, a touristic district in the Aydın province located in Türkiye’s southwest.

Weighing at 175,500 grostons, the 345 meters long Sun Princess was newly launched to sea this year.

In its first visit to Türkiye, the cruise ship brought almost 4,000 tourists and 2,000 crew members to the district, most of whom are U.S. citizens.

Tourists were greeted with a vibrant ceremony featuring live music and traditional folk dance performances held at the Kuşadası Port, marking the inaugural arrival of the ship to the district.

Kuşadası Mayor Ömer Günel boarded the ship and met with John Padgett, the CEO of the cruise company, and Captain Craig Street, presenting various gifts and a plaque of appreciation.

Padgett, who said the crew enjoyed their experience in Kuşadası and the port,thanked the municipality for its warm welcome.

The ship will be making three more voyages to Kuşadası in 2024.

Highlighting that the municipality has worked hard to carry Kuşadası to the top in cruise tourism, Günel said, “We have established close contacts with the managers of the world’s largest cruise companies by going abroad and completely renovated our touristic bazaars.”

Kuşadası also hosted the Medcruise General Assembly, an event which promotes the cruise industry, in 2019.

Stating that 2024 is expected be more fruitful than previous years in terms of cruise tourism, Günel said, “We are content that the steps we have taken for cruise tourism are bearing fruit. I wish the season will bring prosperity to our tradesmen.”

In January, Türkiye received almost 20,000 passengers on 18 cruise ships, more than double compared to last year’s 9,000 passengers which arrived on 12 ships around the same time.

Istanbul and the Black Sea city of Samsun hosted four cruise ships each, while two other Black Sea provinces, Trabzon and Bartın had three, Kuşadası had two, and the western provinces of Izmir and Çanakkale had one each.

The country had not reached the 20,000-passenger mark in January since 2011, which shows a gain in momentum for the country’s cruise tourism sector. Almost 21,000 passengers had come to Türkiye with 8 cruises in January 2011.

Türkiye, which is a center of attraction in cruise tourism with its stunning coastlines spanning the Mediterranean, Aegean, Marmara, and Black Seas, is expected to exceed the target of 2 million tourists this year.

Source: hurriyetdailynews

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