El Batel Convention Centre, designed by the Madrid-based firm Selgascano, in Cartagena, Spain will host the Seatrade Winter Cruising Forum. The annual event brings together ports, tourism authorities and other cruise industry professionals to discuss industry topics and strategies. There will be a strong focus on the entire Mediterranean region, as well as presenting to cruise operators an overall view of the facilities and attractions Cartagena and the region of Murcia offer. In addition, there will be discussions on the development of winter cruise itineraries for other destinations.
The region of Murcia is one of Spain’s lesser known, despite its capital city (also named Murcia) being the seventh largest metropolis in the country. Port city, Cartagena, is a popular cruise destination already, but is seeking to grow that market. Its Roman heritage draws history buffs while its cosmopolitan downtown complete with Art Nouveau architecture includes numerous shopping and dining outlets. Being on the water means that many civilizations called the region home.
Increasing passenger numbers demonstrate the importance of winter cruising to warmer climates. More cruise lines are bolstering their itineraries to the region.
With the third Seatrade Winter Cruising Forum in Cartagena from January 21-22, 2015, visitors will experience the vibrant city and all it has to offer. El Batel Convention Centre is a state-of-the-art building located on the harbor. Its maritime location has also influenced the design of the building dominated by straight lines, similar to containers on a freighter ship, and the use of glass in hues of orange, blue, and green are striking from both the exterior and interior of the building. Few pillars are used in the design leading to large open areas and bright lighting. The materials, design and colors are designed to blend with the light that reflects sea.
The top-floor restaurant and al fresco terrace offers stunning views of the sea paired with delectable Spanish cuisine. This new convention center has been successful in luring numerous large meetings and conventions to the region and has become an important economic driver for Murcia. Recent events have included the Congress of Naval Engineering and Maritime Industry, a regional jazz festival and numerous musical and dance concerts, and the Spanish Association of Florists.
American flies nonstop, seasonal flights between Charlotte and Madrid. Oneworld partner Iberia offers daily connections from Madrid to Murcia.