First total turnaround for cruise ship

Major logistical operation in progress today

Mein Schiff Herz in total turnaround operationThe Diario reports that the ‘Mein Schiff Herz’ “total turnaround” operation which was cancelled three weeks ago due to adverse weather forecast, began at the Port of Funchal this morning. The operation started at dawn, with luggage being removed from the ship to the dock prior to transportation to the airport.

This is the first total average turnaround (passenger movements between 1000 and 1500 people, by embarkation or disembarkation) in the Region. This operation involves the disembarkation of all passengers in the port who then return home by plane, and are replaced by new passengers arriving by plane and boarding the cruise ship.

The ship has onboard 1771 passengers and 787 crew. He came from Las Palmas and returns to the Canary archipelago on the island of La Palma on Friday.

The Vice President of the Government, Pedro Calado, will be at 12:00 in the Port of Funchal, to mark this operation.

Logistics of a “total turnround”

At the time of the first cancelled “total turnround”, the Madeira Ports Facebook page stated that airport functionality was critical to the effectiveness of a full turnaround that involves the disembarkation of all passengers in the port, returning home by plane or the other way round, arriving by plane and boarding the cruise ship. This was always a possible constraint known to all partners involved in the operation, but it was still invested in this challenge given the strategic interest both for TUI and the Autonomous Region of Madeira.

The same note published on the social network page of the Port Authority, APRAM, reveals that Funchal Port had everything prepared and properly tested for months, with TUI and “Mein Schiff Herz” teams for this turnaround, with passenger movements of between 1000 – 1500 persons by embarkation or disembarkation

The ‘turnaround operation’, which involves close collaboration with the airport, is a new challenge for the port of Funchal which until now has only had experience with movements of up to 500 passengers in full or partial “turnaround”.

For the operation, APRAM estimates that a total of three thousand items of luggage will be handled on boarding and disembarking. Such a large movement of luggage and passengers has forced APRAM to purchase new equipment necessary for the operation. APRAM was prepared to hire extra temporary staff for the additional work.

“Meetings have also taken place with entities such as the Aliens and Borders Service, Customs, Maritime Police, operational officers and the ship’s own agent, in order to settle all the details that ensure an efficient operation,” said APRAM, quoted in the Diario in mid-September this year.

The ship will preferably dock at pier 3 and will be in Madeira for 48 hours, arriving on Wednesdays at 2 pm and leaving on Fridays at the same time, “precisely on days when there are fewer ships in the port of Funchal”.

“It will thus take direct flights from the German market on Thursdays, although there may be passengers arriving individually and who may stay in Madeira for a few days before boarding or after disembarkation,” a spokesman explained.

In addition to Madeira, the route includes the Canary Islands and, alternatively, the Azores and Cape Verde.

By April 2020, the ship “Mein Schiff Herz” will make 13 calls in the port of Funchal, six of them in total turnaround that will take place every three weeks.

1 thought on “First total turnaround for cruise ship”

  1. I wonder if they will next consider “Cruise and stay holidays”? Fly to CR7 and embark on the ship, 7 day cruise down to the Canaries and back, disembark for a week in a hotel? It’s a logical extension to what they are doing now. Plus, loads of hotel rooms that need filling.


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