All Ship Shape In Santa Cruz

Any excuse and I’m off to Santa Cruz, there’s so much going on, that was definitely the case as I called in for two big events and still ended up gazing at the ebb andd flow of the ships at the port. My first visit was for the Seatrade Cruise Med trade show at the Recinto Ferial, with 153 stalls and some interesting forums there was plenty for me to dive into.

There was a real party feel to the hall, Tenerife was pushing its charms and the various world ports and destinations were doing the same right back. I partly resisted the temptation of the flowing wine and beer, well I did have the CD Tenerife evening game to come, but I was distracted by some of the very nice promotions ladies. Cruise Wales drew me in with a free fluffy sheep – I’m so shallow, but my mums family are steeped in Welsh history so I was able to sound a little knowledgeable. Places I had visited in my younger years caught my eye, Hamburg, Cagliari, and Amsterdam in particular.

Back out at the port there was the usual mix of working boats, ferries, and cruise ships. Emerald Princess (top of three) was moored up majestically on the far side, that arrangement will change in a few weeks when the new 19 million euro cruise ship terminal starts to welcome up to 10,000 passengers at time. Other vessels will still co-exist, Transmediterranea’s inter island ferry Albayzin was chugging out a fair bit of smoke as it turned on a sixpence,well maybe a farthing considering it’s a veteran of the fleet. Wandering off to the marina I found the Danish training ship Georg Stage (top of page) taking a breather. It had traveled down from its Copenhagen base and was being cleaned, polished, and repaired by a skeleton crew awaiting new paying recruits for their November voyage.

A few days later I was back for the Plenilunio promotion day in Santa Cruz, the streets and plazas bulged with families enjoying everything from live music and theatre to parades and displays of Carnaval costumes. The latest cruise ship to dock was Ventura, they must have thought all the fuss on shore was especially for them. It was quite breezy down near Plaza de España as the wind blew in from the sea, bouncy castles had extra bounce and up a side street a wedding party was gathering and trying to hang on to their expensive hats. One of the strangest sights was vehicles from the military museum driving around, an old VW painted battleship gray and driven by a sinister looking Nazi made me shudder. The American GI Jeep from WW2 was a bit more jolly, but they were late of course. As I wended my way back to the bus station I detoured under the arch of the Puente General Serrador bridge and spotted a fabulous mural honouring the people of Santa Cruz – it had me smiling all the way back to Los Cristianos