Two large cruise ships docked simultaneously at Port Taranto's terminal San Cataldo

   July 9, 2024 ,   Cruise Industry

The cruise season at Port Taranto (Italy) is now in full swing, and on Monday (July 8) marked a significant milestone in the development of port call traffic.

For the first time, two large cruise ships docked simultaneously at Molo San Cataldo (Pier 1): Costa Crociere’s Fascinosa on the west side and TUI’s Mein Schiff 5 on the east side, the latter making her maiden call at the Ionian port.

This achievement was made possible through the collaboration between the Port Network Authority of the Ionian Sea and the Harbour Master’s Office, alongside SOGESID S.p.A., which executed the project "Stralcio – I Lotto funzionale: Extraordinary maintenance works aimed at restoring the seabed levels on the eastern side of San Cataldo Pier. The project, approved by the MASE Decree on January 18, 2024, addressed the silting issues that had rendered the east side of Molo San Cataldo unusable.

Adjustments carried out by the Port Network Authority, completed and tested in 2021, extended the quay to 360 meters in length with a uniform alignment. Recent dredging and seabed restoration have modernized the east side, accommodating large cruise ships with a draught of 8.5 meters, as confirmed by the Harbour Master’s Office Order no. 173 dated June 27, 2024.

The successful completion of these works involved multiple contractors, including Impresa D’Aloisio s.r.l., La Dragaggi s.r.l., Prisma s.r.l. for environmental monitoring, and Ecotaras SpA for supplying environmental equipment.

TUI’s Mein Schiff 5 is the first cruise ship to moor along the east side of Molo San Cataldo, presenting a new seascape to the port and city community, symbolizing the connection between the Port and the City of Taranto.