The El Batel Auditorium of Cartagena, hosted the twelfth edition of the Cruise Excellence Awards, attended by more than 350 guests.
The ceremony brought together, as previously, the main executives of cruise lines, cruise operators, ship agents, ports and destinations, travel agents, press, service providers and professionals. The winners were:
- Best Spanish Port 2018 – PORT OF BARCELONA
- Best Crew 2018 – PULLMANTUR CRUCEROS
- Best Onboard Entertainment 2018 – NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE
- Best Value for Money Cruise Line 2018 – MSC CRUISES
- Best Cruise Line for First Cruise 2018 – COSTA CRUISES
- Best Popular Cruise Company 2018 – PULLMANTUR CRUISES
- Best Premium Cruise Line 2018- HOLLAND AMERICA LINE
- Best Luxury Cruise Line 2018 – SILVERSEA CRUISES
- Best River Cruise Company 2018 – CROISIEUROPE
- Best Ship in Mediterranean 2018- SYMPHONY OF THE SEAS
- Best Ship in Northern Europe 2018 – MSC MERAVIGLIA
- Best Brand Recognition by Travel Agents 2018 – COSTA CRUISES
- Best Onboard Gastronomy 2018 – OCEANIA CRUISES
- Best Itinerary 2018 – PRINCESS CRUISES
- Best Consumer Brand Recognition 2018 – COSTA CRUISES
As in previous editions, special recognitions where given to:
- Port of Cartagena Recognition – The Spanish Navy
- Cruises News Media Group Recognition – Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services
- Cruises News Media Group Recognition – Port Authority of Leixoes
In addition, a special presentation was made, the Andrés Mira Domenech Award, in memory of the founder of CruisesNews Media Group, an emotional award that the organization grants when it considers that there are exceptional merits. This fell to Emiliano González, President of MSC Cruises Spain, who Virginia López General Director of CNMG described as one of her main supports in these difficult years.
The gala featured a spectacular performance by Elena del Aire and Alberto Soro, who captivated the audience with their acrobatics of Pole Dancing and Cyr Wheel. The entertainment was directed and presented by the humourist and showman Mr. Corrales. This year the organization presented the new trophies, in the form of customized sculptures made of COR-TEN steel.
The Cruise Excellence Awards are the result of a macro survey conducted amongst national cruise passengers which gives a special value to the results.
This edition was promoted and sponsored by the Port Authority and the City of Cartagena, the Murcia Region Tourism Institute as well Puertos del Estado, Maritime Activities Business Association of Cartagena, Cruises Atlantic Islands, Agencia Maritima Blazquez, Cruise Friends Shops, Mediterranean Unique Experience, Planout, Erhardt Mediterraneo, Roman Theatre of Cartagena, Asiatico Shop, Licor 43 and Estrella Levante.
The choice of the city is due, among other considerations, to the consolidation of the Port of Cartagena as one of the Spanish destinations that have experienced the greatest growth in recent years. During 2018 it received more than 230,000 passengers in 148 cruises, which placed it as the eighth Spanish port for this type of traffic. In 2019, 165 cruise calls are planned, bringing 240,000 passengers. This also means that the port will break free of its previous seasonality since it will be receiving boats every month of the year.
The Cruise Excellence Awards, whose first edition was held in 2008 in Barcelona, is a brand of CruisesNews Media Group, organizer of the International Cruise Summit in Madrid and editor of CruisesNews and TopRiver magazines.