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Mediterranean cruise business on the upswing

paquebot-de-croisiere-port de sète

Since the 2000s, the cruise sector in the Mediterranean has seen a steady increase in activity, with an acceleration over the last ten years (+25%). 2019 was even a record year for the port of Sète, welcoming over 115,000 cruise passengers. Despite 2 years of health crises, the Mediterranean remains a very dynamic market on which international shipping companies are betting.

On a global scale, cruise ship construction continues to demonstrate the sector's dynamism, with a quarter of production devoted to smaller ships between 150 and 200 meters.

Cruising in Sète: new strategy, new ambitions

The port of Sète, owned by the Occitanie region, is at the heart of the region’s policy of coastal development and blue growth. In line with regional policy and the port’s 2021-2025 strategic project, the Club de Croisière de Sète, a federating body for the local ecosystem in the sector, is repositioning its strategy to develop the quality of cruise ports of call in terms of welcome and services. The Club des Croisières de Sète was created in 1998 as a result of the common desire of institutions and local authorities to develop this sector of activity. Today, it is embarking on a new strategy based on green cruising at sea, on land and on excursions.

Escale croisière Port de Sète

This responds to a very strong evolution of the sector, with more virtuous ships, favoring excursions on a human scale, more respectful of territories and inhabitants.


Green cruises to boost blue growth

In line with the Port of Sète’s 2021-2025 strategic plan, the Cruise Club has set itself several objectives:

Sète’s positioning among medium-sized units is based on :

Carte quais croisière Sète

Sète, an authentic destination

The town’s undeniable assets make it an ideal destination for cruise ships:


Must-see excursions in Occitanie

Sites touristiques en Occitanie
Couverture photovoltaïque port de Sète

Sète, an innovative port at the forefront of sustainable development


This action is part of the Smart and Green Port strategy of the Port of Sète’s 2021-2025 strategic project, which integrates technological and environmental ambitions.

On-dock electrification of ships by 2025 (Alger and Masselin docks) represents an investment of €4 million dedicated to cruise docks, out of a total of €11 million, which includes a low-voltage network and terminals equipped up to 3 MW.


The Port of Sète has chosen to optimize the available roofs of its hangars by installing photovoltaic panels. By the end of 2021, more than 4 ha of solar cover will produce renewable energy equivalent to 2.5 times the annual consumption of Port de Sète – Sud de France’s 3 ports. By 2025, the port will also be equipped with photovoltaic shading systems to generate renewable energy. The project involves covering more than 64,000m² of port roofs and generating 11,000 MWh/year. Total investment (roof renovation and central equipment: €10.5m).


Since January 2020, the Port of Sète has implemented the ESI (Environmental Ship index). Itfinancially rewards companies that use ships with a low environmental footprint, taking into account the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

emissions and airborne noise. Based on an eligibility threshold defined by each port, with a score ranging from 0 to 100 (Sète has chosen a minimum of 30)For example, ships can benefit from reduced port dues at every port of call, i.e. a 10% discount on port dues at Sète.

The parameters are: the quality of the fuels used, the performance of the engines, and the equipment on board (energy efficiency, shore power system, etc.).

A quality welcome with the Cruise friendly charter

Cruise Friendly Port of Sète

The Club des Croisières de Sète helps its members and partners to understand the market. Since 2019, one of the Club’s missions has been to develop the “Cruise friendly” charter, which aims to offer cruise passengers and crew members a quality welcome to the region.

With maps in French, English and German, a mobile app, urban signage, a merchant charter and a “cruise-friendly” charter, we’ve deployed all the tools we need to welcome and satisfy cruise passengers.

A personalized offer that sets Sète apart as a destination for shipping companies and tour operators. To date, the charter has 37 members, merchants located exclusively in Sète town center.

Three areas of development are being prioritized to boost this Cruise-friendly charter:

The quality of our port and tourist facilities is the key factor in winning the loyalty of companies.

chiffres clés croisière sète
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