Many observers have focused on the decline of industrial factories in Europe when discussing the emergence of a post-industrial economy in the Eurozone. Changes in naval and commercial shipbuilding have often been ignored, except by persons engaged in maritime industries and residents of port cities.
Mediterranean ports have been transformed significantly over the past generation, as shipbuilding operations have moved to Indian Ocean and East China Sea port facilities. Marseille, Barcelona, and Genoa are three of the major Mediterranean ports often cited as examples of major economic and cultural transformations.
The smaller port of La Ciotat, once a significant naval shipbuilding site, offers a different sort of example. This port has increasingly focused its shipyards on refurbishing luxury superyachts, rather than building new ships.
A recent New York Times article offers a portrait of the new maritime industries at La Ciotat.