Taranto (Italy)

Cruise Port schedule, live map, terminals, news

Taranto cruise port

Mediterranean - Black Sea

Local Time
2023-10-03 03:25

min: 67 °F (19 °C) / max: 83 °F (29 °C) 70°F
Wind: 348°/ 4.4 m/s  Gust: 9.4 m/sWind: 348°/ 4.4 m/s  Gust: 9.4 m/sGentle breeze
4.4 m/s
Min / Max Temperature83 °F / 29 °C
67 °F / 20 °C
  Port Map

Taranto is a major port and city in southeastern Italy. Port Taranto handles large commercial shipping traffic, but is also Italy's main military port (naval base). The city has population around 200,000. As cruise port, Taranto in 2019 handled 6 ship calls (~9000 passengers), of which 5 were by Marella Discovery (Marella UK).

Taranto (Italy) cruise port

Taranto is often called "The Spartan City" as it was ancient Sparta's only colony (founded in 706 BC). Around 500 BC it was one of the world's largest cities (population ~300,000). The current city's landscape is characterized by 3 peninsulas and an artificial island (formed after digging a ditch during the Aragon Castle's construction).

The city is served by a railway connecting it with Rome, Naples, Milano, Bologna, Bari, Reggio di Calabria, Brindisi. Ponte Girevole Bridge (1887-built, length 90 m / 295 ft) stretches over the ship canal that joins "two seas" (Little Sea, and Big Sea). Ponte Girevole is a swing bridge (movable bridge).

Among town's best-known tourist attractions is the National Archeological Museum (MarTa) displaying Ancient Greek and Roman artifacts. The museum is open every day, with free access on each month's first Sunday. The ancient Matera city is located at ~1 hour drive distance from Taranto. Matera is one of the world's oldest human settlements (populated since 10,000 BC). In 1993, it was designated a UNESCO site.

Taranto (Italy)

Port Taranto

The port faces Ionian Sea and serves shipping traffic related to the locally based steel plants, oil refineries, chemical and food-processing plants, also warship building yards. The seaport has 3 entrances (2 operational). Taranto Container Terminal company's majority shareholder (60%) is Hutchison Whampoa Ltd (Hong Kong-based investment holding) and 40% are owned by Evergreen Marine (Taiwan-based corporation). Port's managing company is Port Network Authority of the Ionian Sea (PNAIS).

  • Port Taranto managing company "Ionian Sea Port Authority" is investing in development projects to upgrade seaport's infrastructure and facilities dedicated to cruise shipping traffic.
  • In July 2018, the Turkish YILPORT Holding Inc (founded 2011) submitted a request to operate under concession Taranto Container Terminal and all multi-purpose port facilities in Southern Italy. These cargo terminals handle boxships, bulk carriers and Ro-Ro ships (ferries). YILPORT's offer includes developing and revamping all terminal facilities and improving logistics through significant investments in infrastructure, equipment and technology. YILPORT Holding Inc (2012-founded port and container terminal operator, subsidiary of YILDIRIM Group of Companies) is headquartered in Istanbul Turkey. As of 2018, it operates in 8 countries managing 20 seaports and 6 terminals, ranking it world's 13th largest container terminal operator. YILDIRIM Group owns 24% stake in CMA CGM Group (world's 3rd largest container shipping company).
  • In August 2018, PNAIS officially published its positive evaluation about Yilport's concession proposal for the container terminal (Yilport's 21st and first in Italy). Terminal's current annual capacity is about 2 million TEUs with quayside draft 16,5 m. Yilport plans annual capacity expansion to over 4 million TEUs by 2028. First will be installed ship-to-shore cranes, rail-mounted gantry cranes and Navis system.
  • On July 30, 2019, PNAIS signed a concession agreement with YILPORT Holding for managing port's multipurpose terminal (all operations at Taranto Container Terminal) for 49 years (until 2068). The cargo terminal features ~1 km2 land area, 5 active rail platforms (connecting directly to Italy's railway system), easy access to highways, capacity to serve Post-Panamax sized boxships.

For the Port's ever-first cruising season (2017), the UK-based company Thomson/Marella Cruises included Taranto in its Mediterranean itinerary program. The seaport was visited 7 times (in May-October) by the ship Thomson Spirit as part of its "Taste of the Adriatic" themed 7-day roundtrips from homeport Dubrovnik. Taranto's ever-first cruise ship call was on May 15th. Cruise prices started from USD 770 pp (double occupancy).

11 MayDeparting from Dubrovnik, Croatia
13 May 08:00 - 18:00Valletta, Malta
14 May 08:00 - 17:00Messina-Taormina, Sicily Italy
15 May 12:00 - 18:00Taranto, Italy
16 May 09:00 - 17:00Igoumenitsa, Greece
17 May 10:00 - 19:00Kotor, Montenegro
18 MayArriving in Dubrovnik

In 2018, the Port handled a total of 7 cruise ship calls from the UK-based companies Saga Cruises and New Caledonia Holidays. In 2019, the cruise port handled ~9000 tourists. In 2020 (prior to the COVID crisis) were expected 14000+ cruisers.

In 2021, the cruise port handled 28 ship calls and ~82,000 passengers. In 2022 were received 54 ship calls (+93% over 2021, including 9 maiden/first-time visits) and ~110,000 tourists (+35% over 2021). For 2023 were booked 41 ship berthings (by 7 different companies/brands) including 5 maiden.

In June 2023 Costa Cruises started its first homeporting season in Taranto with the ship Costa Pacifica. The season (June 3 thru Oct 7) included a total of 19 calls as the Costa liner Pacifica visited Taranto every Saturday, staying in port between 8 am and 5:30 pm. The season's estimated number of Costa cruise passengers alone was 80,000+. Next table shows Costa Pacifica's 7-day Mediterranean itinerary leaving roundtrip from Taranto.

Date / TimePort
03 Jun 17:30Departing from Taranto
04 Jun 10:00 - 20:00Catania, Sicily Italy
05 Jun 08:00 - 17:30Valletta, Malta
07 Jun 08:00 - 21:30Mykonos Island, Greece
08 Jun 08:00 - 19:00Santorini Island, Greece
10 Jun 08:00Arriving in Taranto

The itinerary allowed guests to use Taranto as a homeport (port of embarkation and disembarkation) as well as a call/transit port. Prices started from ~USD 700 per person with double occupancy (~100 pp per day).

In mid-November 2020, GPH-Global Ports Holding Plc (the world's largest cruise port operator) announced that Autorita di Sistema Portuale del Mar Ionio (Port Network Authority of the Ionian Sea) had awarded GPH a 20-year concession to manage Taranto Cruise Port. In 2019, the port started a EUR 28 million (~USD 33,2M) state-funded investment program for port infrastructure developments (including building a new cruise terminal) which is planned for completion by March 2022. The GPH's concession (signed in May 2021) is through May 2041.

Taranto cruise terminal

Cruise ships in Port Taranto dock at the multipurpose Falanto Port Service Center. Here is the new passenger terminal (inaugurated in 2017) built on San Cataldo Pier. The cruise terminal has  2 buildings (3-storey) and was build as part of a EUR 6,6 million project. To all visiting cruise liners, the port provides free bus shuttle service to downtown Taranto.

Taranto cruise port terminal "Falanto Port Service Center"

The modern terminal building as facilities has passenger handling areas, Port Authority offices, auditorium, conference room, public event area (exhibitions), tourist info desk, also restaurants and a bar.

Taranto cruise terminal - Falanto Port Service Center

Prior 2017, most ships berthed at Sporgente pier, located close to Castel San Angelo (aka Castello Aragonese).

Port Taranto cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Taranto, Italy. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.

7 October, 2023
Costa Cruises Cruises cruise lineCosta Pacifica08:0017:00
9 October, 2023
Marella Cruises Cruises cruise lineMarella Explorer 213:0019:00
26 October, 2023
Celebrity Cruises Cruises cruise lineCelebrity Constellation09:0019:00

Taranto - user reviews and comments