By Andrew Atkinson

Cruise ship tourism is to return in Valencia on the back of losses estimated at €70 million since a ban on cruise ships was imposed on June 23, 2020, due to COVID-19.

TUI Cruises ship ‘Mein Schiff 2’ will return to the Port of Valencia on June 27 – the first ship of its kind to dock in the city since March 8, 2020.

The Spanish government lifted the ban on cruise ships on June 7 as part of travel restrictions allowing the international tourism sector to resume.

The Port Authority of Valencia (APV), Mein Shiff 2 will come from Alicante Port prior to setting sail from Valencia to Barcelona.

The port had 205 stopovers and welcomed 420,000 travellers in 2019, with plans to receive 500,000 tourists by 2023.

The APV warned the lifting of the ban will not see the sudden return of cruise liners as shipping companies will first have to reset their itineraries, hire staff, stock up on supplies and sell the cabin reservations.

The APV said the cruise ships have to be repositioned, due to a plethora of them being in Israel, having to return to the west Mediterranean.

“The intentions of the shipping companies are to return to a return to normality as soon as possible.

“It will take the ships a few weeks to reach Valencia again,” said the port authority.

“Their imminent return is vital as the absence of the liners has cost the sector in the city tens of millions of euros,” they added.