The best ever cruise numbers took passenger throughput to a new peak at Marseille Fos
Passenger throughput rose 2% to top 2.5 million for the first time as cruise numbers soared 11% to a record 1.446 million – including 947,000 passengers in transit (+16%) and 499,000 home port passengers (+2%).
In contrast, ferry carryings fell 8% to 1.06 million – North Africa services saw a 2% increase to almost 460,000 but Corsica numbers plunged 12% to 603,200 due to year-end strike action against the takeover of operator SNCM, which will now be run as Maritima Ferries.
Investments and 2016 outlook
Two current projects will be completed – enlargement of the Passe Nord access for cruise ships; and renovation of Drydock 10, the world’s third biggest at 465 metres long and 85m wide.
The drydock is aimed mainly at the mega-cruiseship market as well as the largest container, LNG and bulk carriers. The facility is due to be operational by September and the first cruise customer is expected by the end of the year. The 25-year operating franchise group is headed by Italy’s San Giorgio del Porto and includes a subsidiary already based at the port, Chantier Naval de Marseille.
In 2015, repair activity was at its highest for three years with a 25% increase to 1,933 days of occupation covering 24 merchant ships (+4%) and 74 pleasure vessels (+10%).