CRUISE passengers have praised Malaga for its security and hospitality.
A study carried out by the University of Malaga (UMA) found visitors rated the destination 8.59 out of 10 overall, giving average scores of 8.8 for security and nine out of 10 for hospitality.
Professor Manuel Angel Fernandez carried out the report for the second year, handing out 225 surveys throughout 2016. He found the lowest average score given was 7.6 for the city’s traffic volume, while “memories and gifts” was also given 7.6 out of 10.
Travellers found Malaga’s restaurants were its best feature, while the city’s port facilities were also given the thumbs up, scoring 8.5 out of 10. The study also found the destination average marks of 8.9 from visitors who would recommend the destination and 7.8 for whether guests would return.
The cruise industry is believed to contribute around €40 million a year to Malaga’s economy, €4.5 million of which remains in the port. Around half a million passengers have visited the port this year on 298 cruise ships.
This summer, a new cruise ship, Seabourn Encore, made its first ever trip to Malaga after visiting Gibraltar.
The luxury ship measures 210 metres long, and can accommodate 640 passengers and 400 crew. The vessel, belonging to American company, Seabourn Cruise Line, was welcomed by Malaga’s Port Authority, the council’s department for tourism and company Cruceros Malaga.
The ship’s captain was also given a commemorative plaque to mark the inaugural visit at a reception held on board. The cruise liner stopped in Malaga to enjoy the city’s feria, before moving on to its next stop, Cartagena.
Another cruise, Panorama II, also stopped for a night at Malaga’s Palermal Terminal for the feria. The small, exclusive vessel, measuring 50 metres, is run by Greek company, Variety Cruises.
The Costa del Sol is known as a sailing destination, with 22 sailboats taking part in a race organised by Benalmadena Marina in September.
The regatta, which was taking place for the first time since 1997, was won by Viking, a boat based in the marina and captained by Enrique Gonzalez.The vessel was victorious after two days of sailing in varied weather and sea conditions with winds measuring between 12 and 20 knots and a swell of up to two metres.