The AVE line that will link Valencia and Madrid will only open at the end of 2010, but already it is bringing benefits to the city. Leading cruise operator, Royal Caribbean, has just announced that its largest Mediterranean ship, The Adventure of the Seas, will start departing from Valencia in 2011 from June to October.

The Adventure of the Seas’ three thousand passengers will enjoy an eight-day itinerary that will include visits to Rome, Livorno, Corsica and Málaga and they will also have plenty to occupy them during their voyage; this massive cruise liner contains some truly amazing features, such as a climbing wall and an ice-skating rink.

It has been estimated that the AVE link will ultimately cost between four and five billion euros, but its benefits are already apparent, with tourism experts predicting a windfall for the citizens of Valencia. It is expected that the high-speed rail link will cut the journey time between Valencia and Madrid to 90 minutes and a Royal Caribbean spokesman has already stated that the AVE line was the main motivation behind the company’s decision.

While this news will obviously boost Valencia’s economy in the short term, it could also be a lasting financial boon, since the cruise industry is one of the fastest growing segments of the world travel market. Due largely to their appeal to well-heeled consumers, cruises inevitably offer local businesses a regular supply of visitors who are happy to spend money in local bars, cafes, restaurants and gift shops.

An American report states that a 2,000 passenger ship generates an average spend of $180,000 in on-shore spending, so it is likely that valencianos will be extending a warm welcome to the holidaymakers on The Adventure of the Seas.