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Cruise business defies the odds for flourishing El Hierro 

PAGE 15 Cruise business defies  the odds for flourishing El Hierro

Cruise tourism is proving its worth on El Hierro, against what many critics predicted.

The port of La Estaca received 10,520 cruisers in 2017, representing an increase of around ten per cent compared to 2016. That in itself was a record year, rising to 9,605, almost four times more than in 2015 (4,000), with an increase of 140 , 13 per cent, and twice as much as in 2014, the year in which the best records had been obtained.

President and tourism councillor, Belén Allende, welcomes these figures as signalling a significant reco-very of this segment, even though traditionalists said it would not work.

“La Estaca is a reference point for the arrival of cruises to the Canary Islands,” she said, describing El Hierro as ” the jewel of the Atlantic”.

The Cabildo would like to see the cruise ships extend their stay in the habour so passengers could get more of a chance to discover the island and its natural beauties, thereby bringing in more income.

This data is added to the increase of passengers by sea transport of the shipping company that operates daily with El Hierro, with an entry of 156,479 people in 2017.

This season, El Hierro plans to receive 15 arrivals. Its most habitual clients are companies like Phoenix, National Geo-graphic, Saga, Hapag Lloyd and Sea Cloud, dedicated to the exploration cruise, although this year it is being included in the schedules of of tour operators the Ocean Majesty for the Polish Atika, as well as the AIDAvita.

The Ocean Majesty is expected on February 25th. The latter will repeat its visit on March 25th and the Seabourn Quest will arrive in the port on April 3rd and 30th.