The European cruise season starts in earnest in April when the luxurious cruiseships make their way north from various locations around the globe.

The countdown has started towards the 2024 cruise ship season in Falmouth which begins in April with over 50 ships now scheduled to make calls. Falmouth as a cruise destination has seen a dramatic increase in cruiseship business during the past few years.

Numbers traditionally hovered around 30 ships per year but with European cruising increasing each year UK and European ports have seen business escalate generating upwards of £55 billion to European economies.

Ambassador Cruises Ambition kick starts the season with the first of seven turn around calls with cruises from Falmouth to French, Spanish, Portuguese and Norwegians ports.

Another ship under a different name that has called before is the luxurious ship Sirena. This ship last came to Falmouth in 2013 as Princess Cruises Ocean Princess.

Regular customer Viking Cruises have their luxurious ships Viking Saturn, Star, Mars, Sky and Venus calling a total of six times on the very popular Bergen to Barcelona and Barcelona to Bergen cruises.

Weather permitting offshore in Falmouth Bay, the mega ships Caribbean Princess, Regal Princess, Island Princess, Zuiderdam and MSC Virtuosa will anchor to tender thousands of passengers to the docks.

From the ultra-luxurious end of the market Regent Seven Seas ships Seven Seas Splendor and Seven Seas Navigator have a total of three visits pencilled in for a docks berth.

Fred Olsen Cruises and Silverseas Cruises ships are not scheduled this year but in 2025 the companies return to Falmouth will a number of visits.

Holland America’s Lines (HAL) Zuiderdam is the sole ship this year from the HAL stable. Next year the 300 metre long Neiuw Statendam is scheduled to call on her transatlantic repositioning cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Dover.

The 2025 season will currently end with HAL’s 100,000 ton Rotterdam arriving from Rotterdam as she sails west to Fort Lauderdale.

Cruise ships often attract criticism from the environmental lobby but in Falmouth and other European ports much is being done to reduce emissions from all ships coming into the docks by providing shore power.

A major funding package of £6.3m allocated to A&P Falmouth by the government’s Zero Emission Vessel and Infrastructure fund (ZEVI) to tackle emissions from ships is a catalyst for the future regeneration of Falmouth as a port.

Emissions from ships has become an important issue in the maritime world especially in Europe, and the UK government has announced a multi-million pound funding package to tackle this environmental problem to decarbonise the UK’s maritime sector by 2025.

The UK Government will spend £80 million to help introduce zero-emission ferries as well as cruise and cargo ships into the country’s waters by 2025. The latest move is expected to create thousands of jobs in the UK.

A&P Falmouth has been allocated £6.3m for an industrial project to design, build and test a new clean energy shore side power solution suitable for multiple users at the Port of Falmouth. The aim is to provide the UK's first multi-vessel, flexible shore power connections on the Atlantic Peninsula.