Located on the northern Mediterranean coast of Tunisia, La Goulette Cruise Port has welcomed its first cruise ship visitor since 2015. Spirit of Discovery from Saga Cruises called at the historic port on Wednesday, March 23, marking the first time in seven years since cruise ships have visited the port.
La Goulette Welcomes Spirit of Discovery
Great fanfare greeted the 58,250-gross-ton cruise ship and its 724 passengers when it arrived on Wednesday morning. A celebratory parade of eagle handlers, the national band, and the traditional camels were all on hand, and La Goulette Village at the port was full of spirit with the shops filled with variety of local products that reflects the Tunisian culture.
“We are delighted to once again see cruise passengers at our port,” said Sami Debbich, GM of La Goulette Cruise Port. “This is truly a reflection of our hard work. We look forward to a blissful season with 40 cruise ships expected for 2022. As La Goulette Cruise Port, we will continue to offer the best services with all necessary health & safety measures to ours business partners.”
Debbich, along with the Minister of Tourism, Minister of Transport, Secretary of State for Maritime Affairs, Governor of Tunis, Head of Customs, Head of Police, and the Ambassador of England, presented the ship’s captain with a commemorative plaque at the traditional welcome ceremony.
Such presentations are common when a cruise ship visits a new port for the first time, and are often displayed aboard the ship to show its visit history. As Spirit of Discovery only entered service in 2019, Wednesday’s visit was the first time the ship was able to call on the region.
As guests arrived at the port, they were able to enjoy the rich culture of the north African nation. Right at the port, a restaurant and cafes offered local Tunisian cuisine, and candy, chocolate, and gourmet food stores offer delicious duty-free shopping for passengers to take the tastes of Tunisia home with them.
La Goulette is located in a coastal area that includes the ruins of ancient Carthage and the picturesque suburb of Sidi Bou Said, places that attract more visitors than Tunis itself. Home to several UNESCO Heritage sites, the city is a masterpiece of historical and cultural art, and is a crossroads of cultures including Moorish, Turkish, and European influences.
Among the amazing sites right at the port itself are the local fish market; the Carraca fortress, which was built by the Spanish and then enlarged by the Turks in 1574; and the seafront boulevard artificial beach. Local entertainers provide shows in the port village, and duty-free shopping is available.
Guests were also able to take advantage of a variety of tours to La Medina, Sidi Bou Said, Carthage, Sousse, and Kairouan.
More Visits Planned
With 40 cruise ships expected to visit the port this year, 2022 is poised to be an exciting year for La Goulette. In addition to Saga Cruises, ships from MSC Cruises, Holland America Line, and Phoenix Reisen are all planned to call at La Goulette Cruise Port.
The port features berths 657 meters long, which enable mega ships such as Oasis, Excellence, and Meraglivia-plus class cruise ships to dock safely. With two terminal buildings, La Goulette Cruise Port can easily handle the operations of the cruise ships and all the guests they bring to this beautiful destination.