An extraordinary ceremony took place yesterday evening in front of the sea lock at IJmuiden when two sea cruise ships of MSC Cruises met each other on their departure to the next destination. The two cruise ships owned by the Italian company MSC Cruises were both in the Amsterdam port region yesterday.
The Opera and the Magnifica cruise ships, with approximately 4,800 passengers and 2,000 crew members, experienced the meeting at sea. The MSC Magnifica had come from Hellesylt/Geiranger, Norway and was departing for Hamburg, Germany. The MCS Opera had come from Southampton and was departing for St. Petersport, Guernsey.
The ports of Amsterdam and IJmuiden welcome large numbers of cruise ships every year. A total of 182 (143 Amsterdam, 39 IJmuiden) sea cruise ships with an estimated total of more than 350,000 passengers will visit the Amsterdam port region in 2013. Some 192 (150 Amsterdam, 42 IJmuiden) cruise ships are expected next year. There has been a considerable rise in the number of sea cruise ships calling at the Amsterdam port region over the past few years. In 2010 for example, a mere total of 102 ships visited the region (91 Amsterdam, 11 IJmuiden).
The ports of IJmuiden and Amsterdam are popular cruise ports thanks to their location in relation to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, the accessibility of tourism facilities and the modern terminals of the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam and the Felison Terminal in IJmuiden. The cruise ship sector generates an estimated 90 million euros in revenue in the Amsterdam region. On average, each moored ship represents between 350,000 and 600,000 euros in revenue. This amount includes the activities of the nautical service providers and passenger and crew spending in the region. The sector accounts for more than 1,100 jobs.
MSC Cruises is the cruise division of the Mediterranean Shipping Company. MSC Cruises sails throughout the year in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean and offers seasonal itineraries in Northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, the French Antilles, South America, the Indian Ocean, South and West Africa, the Red Sea and the United Arab Emirates. MSC Cruises is a privately-owned European company and has 15,500 employees worldwide and branch offices in 45 countries. MSC Cruises is the world’s fourth largest cruise ship company. The Dutch branch office is located in Hoofddorp.