On September 16, 2021, the Ports of Toulon Bay (French Riviera, La Seyne-Sur-Mer) welcomed the first cruise tourists for 18+ months, with the berthing of TUI's Mein Schiff 2 at La Seyne Cruise Terminal.
During the COVID crisis, the piers in Toulon Bay didn't remain empty, however, since the local community and the port kept on welcoming ships for lay-up calls. At a rate of 2-3 vessels berthed continuously since spring 2020, a total of 15 calls were accommodated in Toulon, with a duration from a few days to several months.
Despite the full halt in the reception of cruisers, the Ports of Toulon Bay continued to refine their strategy of promoting “slow” marketing positioning of Toulon as a destination.
Work has been undertaken to create the offer ashore, particularly for independent cruise passengers, favoring the “slow” destination positioning which is offering “slow-paced tourism, with low CO2 emissions, synonymous with in-depth discoveries, improved knowledge and cultural achievements”.
84% of cruise ship calls scheduled for 2022 are expected from the Premium & Luxury segments.