The ship docked around 9 a.m. and departed at 8 p.m. that evening. Staff from organizations including: Visit Tampa Bay, Visit St. Pete-Clearwater, the Ybor City Development Corporation and Tampa Downtown Partnership all ventured to Cruise Terminal 6, directly behind Port Tampa Bay headquarters, to welcome the foreign ship.
The M/V Artania traveled across the world all year. The German ship stopped in countries such as Chile, Guatemala, Scotland, Norway and Russia. Prior to their voyage to Tampa Bay, the ship journeyed to Key West, Miami and Turks and Caicos.
Hundreds of passengers boarded buses immediately upon arriving at Port Tampa Bay to begin enjoying their daylong adventure. Experiencing a taste of Tampa’s sunny skies and entertaining new attractions, passengers and crew members explored the endless opportunities that Tampa Bay has to offer.
“It is great for tourism. It is a big boost for the city because we have over 1,000 international guests who were exposed to Tampa and its new development,” said Greg Lovelace, Director of Cargo & Cruise Marketing for Port Tampa Bay.
Tourists utilized the fare free TECO Line Streetcar to enjoy the cultural and contemporary restaurants in Ybor City, while others headed over to Sparkman Wharf, Downtown Tampa’s newest family-friendly outdoor waterfront space. The Florida Aquarium as well as the numerous beaches surrounding the area were popular destinations that sparked the interest of travelers.
There are 868 passengers and 518 crew members. The tourists are from all over the world. While most are of German descent, others are traveling from Austria, Croatia, Italy, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Switzerland.
The next stop on the ship’s journey will be New Orleans, Louisiana.