(9 a.m. EDT) -- The southern Spanish port of Malaga has opened a new cruise passenger terminal as part of the recent extensive development of its harbour area.
The new 900-square-metre terminal is set over two floors and can accommodate cruise ships of up to 200 metres in length. It also has a specially designed mobile passenger loading bridge which connects to the cruise liner from the pier.
The first cruise ship –- Windstar Cruises' Wind Surf -- is due to arrive in the new terminal in July and will be the first of almost 70 ships that have planned calls and turnarounds at the new terminal in the next few months.
Malaga is becoming an increasingly popular port of call for cruise lines, and is becoming a viable alternative to Spain's busiest cruise port Barcelona.
Malaga's tourist board representative, Antonio Montejo Romero, said: “The passenger terminal is an exciting addition to Malaga's extensive offering for tourists. We give a unique experience for cruise passengers in that they can step off the ship and be in the heart of the city in just five minutes.”
The passenger terminal forms part of Quay 2 and is located just outside the city centre. Visitors can reach the main high street and the cultural and commercial district in five minutes by foot.
The port's developed Quay One combines 14,000 square meters of shopping and leisure space with numerous restaurants and stores along Malaga's yacht port.
The news comes as the Port of Bilbao, at the opposite end of the country in the north, has closed a deal to build a new 13.8 million euros cruise terminal, reports Cruise Industry News.
The terminal will be located at Getxo and will take 16 months to build, with work starting at the end of the summer.
The new facility will be near the existing terminal and will offer 355 metres of berthing and 12 metres of water depth.
--by Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor