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Ports & destinations

Helsinki to welcome 270 cruise ships this summer

The 2017 cruise season begins on Wednesday 3 May with the arrival of Astor to the Katajanokka Quay next to the Allas Sea Pool in the centre of Helsinki. The upcoming cruise season is expected to even busier than last summer. On the basis of advance bookings, Helsinki expects to welcome 270 international cruise ships. They will carry with them an estimated 440,000 visitors, who will get to enjoy the cultural activities and services on offer this summer in the Finnish capital.

The busiest day this summer will be Wednesday 31 May, when no less than five cruise ships arrive in Helsinki: Norwegian Getaway at the Melkki Quay, the German cruise ship AIDAmar and the Italian cruise ship MSC Magnifica in Hernesaari, and the luxury cruise ships Le Soleal and Ocean Dream in the South Harbour. Altogether these five cruise ships will bring over 11,000 cruise visitors to Helsinki in a single day.

Santa Claus in Hernesaari

Cruise ships will arrive at four different harbours in Helsinki: Katajanokka, the South Harbour, Hernesaari and the West Harbour (Melkki Quay). Hernesaari and the West

Harbour will serve over 80 percent of cruise visitors, and Santa Claus will be on hand to welcome them this summer in Hernesaari.

A new digital sign system is introducing in Hernesaari. The system is designed to further improve the visitor experience and to make it easier for cruise visitors to find their way around. The project is being carried out together with Samsung and the Cruise Baltic network.

Altogether six cruise ships will be visiting Helsinki for the first time this summer:

– 4 May: Viking Sky
– 20 May: MSC Magnifica
– 22 May: Norwegian Getaway
– 25 June: Seven Seas Explorer
– 28 July: Columbus
– 31 July: Mein Schiff 6

The last visit of the 2017 cruise season will be made by AIDAvita on 20 October.

Growing number of cruise visitors from Asia

Last year the biggest incoming markets for cruise passengers were Germany, the USA and Great Britain. This year the biggest growth is expected to come in the number of visitors from Asia. Already last year the number of cruise visitors from China increased by 24 percent.

Cruise Baltic expects the number of cruise visitors to the Baltic Sea region to increase by 13 percent and the number of cruise ship visits by 15 percent this year.

Carnival Corporation unveils artistic renderings for second cruise terminal at Port of Barcelona

Carnival Corporation & plc has released artist renderings of its second cruise terminal at the Port of Barcelona – which will be Europe’s newest passenger cruise terminal when it opens in 2018. The terminal is designed to accommodate Carnival Corporation’s new class of “next-generation” green cruise ships that will be fully operated by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel.

As part of an agreement signed in July 2015, Carnival Corporation will construct and operate the new 12,500 square meter terminal. The company is investing more than 30 million euros in the state-of-the-art terminal, which paired with its existing terminal at the port represents its largest combined terminal investment in Europe.

Designed by Catalan architecture firm Battle I Roig, the plans for the company’s upcoming cruise terminal reflect today’s modern architectural style with straight lines and a minimalist concept that will create a contemporary and comfortable guest environment.

“Our goal is to make travel for our guests as convenient, pleasant and easy as possible, and this new terminal is designed to meet and exceed guest expectations,” said Giora Israel, senior vice president of global port and destination development for Carnival Corporation. “The local architecture firm has done great work in designing a beautiful facility that will make Europe’s largest cruise port even better.”

‘’This terminal marks the culmination of years of partnership,” said Sixte Cambra, president of the Port of Barcelona Port Authority. “Since the beginning of our relationship, Carnival Corporation has shown strong success in our port and city, and 10 years after the opening of the first terminal, this has materialized in a new facility for their cruise brands. Carnival Corporation has been a loyal partner to the Port of Barcelona, bringing passengers of different nationalities and generating a strong financial impact to our local economy.”

Construction on the project officially began in July 2016, and once complete it will enhance the embarkation and disembarkation process for cruise guests visiting Catalonia and its surrounding areas on one of Carnival Corporation’s ships.

The new terminal, on the port’s Adossat wharf, will increase Carnival Corporation’s passenger capacity at the port, which is used by eight of the company’s 10 global cruise line brands as both a destination and home port. Carnival Corporation is expecting to accommodate over one million passengers at the Port of Barcelona once its second cruise terminal is open in 2018.

Eight brands from Carnival Corporation – AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn and P&O Cruises (UK) – visit Barcelona throughout the year. Carnival Corporation guests who visit Catalonia can take advantage of a variety of excursions, such as strolling the Girona historic quarter or visiting the multi-peaked rocky range of Montserrat and its Benedictine abbey, and exploring attractions within Barcelona, such as touring Gaudi’s famed Sagrada Familia Cathedral.

Beginning April 2018, the terminal facilities will host inaugural sailings of Carnival Horizon, Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, which includes attractions such as SkyRide, IMAX Theatre and Water Works, as well as AIDA Cruises’ newest ship AIDAperla featuring attractions such as the Beach Club under a UV-permeable dome and an above-water skywalk. AIDAperla is one of the world's first cruise ships to feature dual-fuel engines, which, depending on availability at the port, can also be operated with virtually zero-emission liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Port of Seattle kicks off its biggest cruise season ever in 2017

The Port of Seattle kicked off its biggest cruise season yet with over one million revenue passengers on 218 vessels, making Seattle the biggest cruise port on the West Coast. The cruise industry in Seattle is responsible for over $500 million in economic impact to the region, providing more than 4,000 jobs and $18.9 million in state and local taxes, with each homeported vessel generating $2.7 million to the local economy.

“A record number of cruise passengers this season means local agriculture and food companies, among others across our region, benefit from these provisioning ships,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Stephanie Bowman. “We are also inviting these passengers to stay longer and spend more time and money locally, which also boosts economic impact and job growth across our region and state.”

To further these efforts, the Port of Seattle is introducing a complimentary cruise luggage valet program this season that will allow passengers to spend time in Seattle to see the sights and spend some dollars at great restaurants and attractions. Seattle cruise passengers will be able to get their airline boarding pass and check their bags on board so they can check out Seattle before flying home. The program is still being finalized, but is expected to be up and running in the next several weeks. More details will be available soon.

Also new this year will be the opening of the renovated Pier 66 cruise facility homeport for Norwegian Cruise Line. This historic and unprecedented 15-year lease is estimated to generate $2.3 billion in total business revenue for the region, nearly 900 jobs, and over $65 million in state and local taxes.

MedCruise and its member ports lead discussion on best strategies for the Adriatic

MedCruise was, once more, among the leading organisations shaping discussions on the potentials of cruising in the Adriatic, and the best strategies for cruise ports and destinations, during the Adriatic Sea Forum.

Kristijan Pavic, MedCruise President and President of the Dubrovnik Port Authority, stressed among others the needs for a stronger cooperation among countries, as well as at local level, the further enhancement of cruise port services to satisfy the needs of cruise companies and the clientele, as well as the dedication of MedCruise to continue facilitating the Adriatic to achieve the well deserved recognition at international level.

During a keynote address, Joan Gual de Torrella, President of the MedCruise member Port Authority of the Balearic Islands, detailed how to manage (cruise and ferry) passenger traffic, ensure efficient activities of shipping liners and further the development of tourism in areas impacted by such phenomena, while Carla Salvado, MedCruise Honorary President and Director of Cruise Marketing of Antalya, Bodrum and Kusadasi, addressed a discussion dedicated to planning Adriatic cruise routes.

Α number of MedCruise ports representatives were also active – with Emil Bilic, General Manager of the Port of Zadar, Rodolfo Giampieri, President of the Central Adriatic Port Authority and Andrea Ntais, President and Managing Director, Igoumenitsa Port Authority, leading a round-table discussion on the benefits present at respective Adriatic destinations, as well as the consistent efforts of Med cruise ports to enhance the port services offered in the area in order to reduce operative costs of cruise companies.

The Forum concluded with a round-table of representatives of associations, public organisations and international bodies operating in the sector of maritime tourism, where Thanos Pallis, Secretary General of MedCruise, emphasised among others that the debate that has taken place during this edition of the Forum underscores the need and desire to continue the path towards further collaboration and joint promotion for the benefit of all parties.

The third edition of the Adriatic Sea Forum held on the 27th and 28th of April in Budva, Montenegro and was attended by all key stakeholders who operate partly or exclusively in the Adriatic with MedCruise being a supporting organisation.

Indonesia to cut cost port charges to reverse cruise call decline - report

Indonesia is planning to cut port charges in order to revert a sharp fall in the number of cruise ship calls, government ministers said, according to the Jakarta Post newspaper.

“We’ll readjust the port fees with Singapore as the benchmark. We’ll issue regulations and adopt the National Cruise Tourism Strategy to prevent such a problem from happening again in the future,” Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, was quoted by Jakarta Post as saying.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya and Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumad the number of cruise calls in Indonesia had decreased from 400 in 2015 to 350 calls in 2016. However, the number of passengers had increased from 200,000 in 2015 to 260,000 in 2016. “That shows that the cruise ships coming to Indonesia have increased in size,” he added.

“We’re going to build a cruise terminal that meets international standards in Benoa. That is part of the preparations for the IMF – World Bank Annual Meeting in October 2018, which will be attended by 13,000-18,000 people from 189 countries,” Luhut added.