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Monday, September 21, 2020

Cruise ships expected to return to Tenerife at the end of October

Cruise ships in port in Santa Cruz de Tenerife Hajotthu / CC BY

Cruise ships will return to the ports of Tenerife at the end of October at 60 percent capacity, as required by health regulations, which means an average of 1,500 passengers per week.

The president and director of the Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Carlos González and Aitor Acha, held a meeting on Friday with municipal representatives and two consignees to establish lines of collaboration for the new cruise season.

Present at the meeting were José Manuel Bermúdez, mayor of Santa Cruz de Tenerife; Evelyn Alonso, councilor for Economic Promotion; Alfonso Cabello, councilor for Festivities and Recreational Activities; Gabriel Cabrera and Guillermo Ponte, representatives of the consignees Pérez y Cía y Hamilton, and Elisa Zamora, commercial manager of the Port Authority. Juan José Cabrera and Adasath Reyes, councilors of Santa Cruz de La Palma and San Sebastián de La Gomera, respectively, were present via virtual links.

At the beginning of the meeting, both González and Acha presented the current situation that the new cruise season is expected to face, where the Merchant Marine must receive a report from the Canarian Ministry of Health that guarantees the viability of the routes of cruise ships. Once issued and the approval of the Ministry is obtained, 45 days will elapse for it to begin, so it is estimated that the start date will be at the end of October.

Currently, it is hoped to start with the TUI company ships, which it will do so at 60 percent capacity, attracting about 1,500 weekly passengers.

The main doubts on the part of the municipalities have been directed to security. The consignees have discussed the tests carried out with cruises in Greece, so it is likely that cruise passengers will be prevented from leaving the ships autonomously, proposing excursions and 'bubble activities' only. José Manuel Bermúdez has offered public spaces to develop proposals for visitors, "due to the importance of the presence of cruise passengers in our city for the capital's business fabric."

The Health Department has emphasized that there must be no infections, so a protocol has been developed, for which Puertos de Tenerife has requested collaboration, to provide residences to house any possible infected person. Bermúdez, Cabrera and Adasath have promised after the meeting to collaborate with the port authority to locate spaces that could be used for this purpose. Everything indicates that, although with restrictions, the cruise season is going to resume in the Canary Islands after the health crisis, with bases in Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.


[ED: Can't help thinking that there is a lot of wishful thinking here.]

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