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Ports & destinations

Port Everglades to invest over $100 million to renovate Cruise Terminal 25 as part of new Royal Caribbean agreement

Broward County's Port Everglades will be investing more than $100 million for a complete makeover of Cruise Terminal 25, which will continue to be a preferential berth for Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. (RCCL) as part of a new long-term agreement approved unanimously by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners.

The new agreement replaces the current RCCL agreement, which expires at the end of 2017, and continues through September 30, 2026, with options to extend the terms for an additional four years, followed by an additional five years. RCCL owns both Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises cruise lines, both of which sail from Port Everglades.

"Renovating Cruise Terminal 25 was already part of our Master/Vision Plan, and was scheduled to begin this year," said Port Everglades Chief Executive and Port Director Steven Cernak. "Giving preferential berthing rights to Royal Caribbean allows us to build a facility that meets their expectations for the new generations of larger cruise ships and for the new Celebrity Edge, which is scheduled to homeport at Port Everglades beginning in December 2018."

Cruise Terminal 25 was originally built in 1992. A section to provide an additional elevator was completed in 2004.

RCCL also has preferential berthing rights at Cruise Terminal 18, which was completed in 2009 to welcome Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas and her sister ships Allure of the Seas in 2010 and Harmony of the Seas in 2016. All three sister ships are part of the Oasis-class of ships, which are considered the largest and most innovative cruise ships in the world. The newer Harmony of the Seas replaced Oasis of the Seas to sail year-round every Saturday from Port Everglades. Allure of the Seas sails every Sunday year-round.

Beginning December 2018, Celebrity Edge, the first ship in Celebrity Cruises' new class of ships, will also be sailing out of Port Everglades. Designed in 3-D, and featuring the work of A-list global architects and designers, the 2,918-guest Celebrity Edge was designed to bring the outside in and aims to make discerning global travelers redefine how they experience the world and how intimate a vacation can be.

The Port Everglades Department is a self-supporting Enterprise Fund of Broward County, Florida government with operating revenues of more than $163 million in Fiscal Year 2016 (October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016). It does not rely on local tax dollars for operations.

Port Everglades is consistently ranked as one of the three busiest cruise ports in the world with more than 3.8 million passengers in fiscal year 2016 (Oct. 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016). Eleven cruise lines, one ferry service and more than 40 cruise ships sail from the Port Everglades including: Balearia's Bahamas Express (ferry), Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Pearl Seas Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Seabourn and Silversea Cruises.

MedCruise guidelines for a sustainable ‘Berth Booking Process’ at Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum 2017

MedCruise had a leading role at the 4th Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum held at Megaron Athens International Conference Centre, in Athens, Greece, 23-24 May 2017. During the two-day event, cruise industry decision makers and stakeholders came together in an effort to “Reinvent Cruising in the East Mediterranean”.

MedCruise President Kristijan Pavic was among the keynote speakers at the opening session of the Forum, discussing the "State of the Industry: The Mediterranean in the Global Picture". During his intervention, MedCruise President presented the current state of the industry, while he also supported the view that cruise ports in the East Med will remain active in all fronts, allowing cruise lines to further trust and deploy their vessels in one of the most magnificent cruise regions in the world.

MedCruise also led discussions during a special session on “Berth Allocation - A Solution for Large and Small Ports”, where expert speakers addressed the main challenges and debated possible strategies and solutions. MedCruise Secretary General Thanos Pallis presented to cruise lines, ports, and stakeholders the guidelines that have been developed by MedCruise members and if endorsed could provide a sustainable Mediterranean Berth Booking Process applied by ports in the Med and its adjoining seas.

“This process has agreed by more than 100 ports in the Med and its adjoining seas, and its principles apply in several ports. If endorsed it can provide satisfactory to cruise lines, stakeholders and ports. MedCruise ports developed collectively a framework that is not restricting anybody yet provides some structured guidelines that resolve a number of misunderstandings that currently exist” says MedCruise Secretary General Thanos Pallis about the proposal communicated to the cruise world, concluding that “Our member ports and associates look forward to work with cruise lines, and their association, towards a conclusion of such berth allocation principles that will facilitate the work of all.”

Piraeus Port Authority to invest for cruise infrastructure

Piraeus Port Authority is investing Euro 294 million over a five-year period to upgrade its existing infrastructure and help it increase its competitiveness in the lucrative East Med cruise sector. Details of the specific plans were presented earlier this week during the opening day of the 4th Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum by Theodora Riga, Manager of Strategic Planning & Marketing Department, PPA.

A significant part of this investment will support Greece’s cruise sector as they include the expansion of the Southern port with capacity for four new cruise berths, up to 400m each for new generation ships. The plans also include the development of hotels, shopping malls, restaurants and other auxiliary services designed to establish Piraeus Port as a key East Mediterranean cruise line homeport.

“The planned infrastructure improvements will benefit the cruise sector overall by providing best-in-class customer service experience to the operators of the cruise ships as well as by enhancing the overall experience of their guests,” said Ms. Riga.

“New value added services for the cruise lines and passengers are at the core of Piraeus Port Authority's vision to promote overall product awareness in the Chinese market and act as a facilitator to capture higher volumes of tourists from the Far East.”

Currently, Piraeus possesses a total of 2.8kms in quay length with a draft of up to 11m tide free. It has between 9-11 simultaneous berthing places. The expansion plans would add a further 1,65kms of quay length further strengthening the Port’s capacity by roughly 50 percent.

Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore celebrates fifth anniversary

Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore (MBCCS) celebrated its fifth anniversary with a bang today. Within five years of operations, MBCCS has also achieved two other milestones, namely the welcoming of its two millionth passenger, and the handling of its 500th ship call. Just last financial year ended 31 March 2017, MBCCS handled a total of 147 ship calls, a 33.6% increase year-on-year.

To mark the celebrations, the iconic cruise terminal, operated by SATS-Creuers Cruise Services (SCCS), opened its doors to cruise passengers, and transformed into a carnival of colours and sounds. The festivities included a host of activities for the entire family to participate in and enjoy, ranging from activity booths for children that include balloon sculpting, face painting and tattoos, to a live DJ that gave away MBCCS merchandises to the guests. The event saw approximately 3,800 guests in attendance.

Making the occasion even more meaningful, the first ship that called at MBCCS on this day five years ago – Royal Caribbean International’s Voyager of the Seas – also returned and called on the terminal this morning. As part of the celebrations, SCCS partnered Royal Caribbean International and conducted a lucky draw to give away a three-night cruise on board the Voyager of the Seas.

“There’s no better way for us to celebrate with MBCCS on its fifth birthday, than having our Voyager of the Seas back here like on Day One. We are very proud of how much the cruise terminal has grown with Royal Caribbean through these years, from hosting our first mega ship to even larger and newest Quantum class ships that redefine cruising in the region. We look forward to many more successful years ahead in working together to boost Singapore’s status as a regional cruise hub.” said Sean Treacy, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Today, Princess Cruises’ Dawn Princess also arrived at the terminal. Princess Cruises has been homeporting its ships at MBCCS since the start of the operations at the cruise centre. Aside from Dawn Princess, Sapphire Princess has also homeported at MBCCS previously, followed by the Japanese-themed Diamond Princess which was one of two ships to call at MBCCS for the terminal's official opening ceremony five years ago.

“For our upcoming season, Sapphire Princess will return to homeport in Singapore. The newest, largest and most luxurious ship in our fleet, Majestic Princess, will also be making her maiden call to Singapore on 16 June and we are looking forward to welcoming her to MBCCS. The deployment of Princess cruise ships to Singapore is a testament to MBCCS' innovative design and excellent berthing facilities that can accommodate large ships, and it is becoming an integral part of cruising within the region,” said Farriek Tawfik, Director of Southeast Asia, Princess Cruises.

Since its opening, MBCCS with its state-of-the-art infrastructure, has effectively doubled Singapore’s berth capacity with the ability to cater to the world’s largest cruise ships and allow for larger ships to call in Singapore. This has served to anchor Singapore’s position as an attractive homeport for cruise lines. For example, Dream Cruises’ Genting Dream, a 18-deck, 151,300 gross ton upmarket vessel, will be homeporting year-round at MBCCS starting this November, and is expected to attract about 200,000 foreign cruise passengers and generate about S$80 million in tourism receipts.

Continually enhancing the facility to provide passengers with greater comfort and efficient, value-added services, SCCS has rolled out several upgrades over the past five years. Most recently, it has also launched duty-free concession stands within the terminal, providing cruise passengers with convenient travel retail options and specially curated exclusive mechandises. It has also extended its CruiseFly services, the region’s first sea-to-air seamless baggage transfer service that allows cruise passengers to check-in, deposit their bags and collect their boarding passes without hassle.

“We are happy to celebrate this occasion with our partners and passengers. Singapore’s cruise tourism achieved 16% year-on-year growth in terms of passenger throughout in 2016, and we are proud to be part of its growth story. We look forward to forging closer partnerships with existing cruise lines, and welcome other new cruise lines at MBCCS in the future. We will continue to play an active role in anchoring Singapore’s position as the premier homeport in the region,” said Lionel Wong, Chief Executive Officer of SCCS.

Port of Seattle and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings open renovated cruise terminal at Pier 66 ​

The Port of Seattle and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH) showcased the new Bell Street Cruise Terminal at the Port’s Pier 66 building in a grand celebration yesterday. The newly renovated terminal features three times the square footage within the same walls of the prior facility, and is custom designed to handle the 4,000 passenger Norwegian Bliss, which will be the largest cruise vessel on the West Coast, arriving in time for the 2018 cruise season.

An estimated $30 million dollars in improvements were made to the Bell Street Cruise Terminal as part of a joint agreement between Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and the Port of Seattle. The enhancements have significantly expanded and improved operations and the guest experience for cruise passengers at Pier 66.

In August 2015, the Port of Seattle signed a historic 15-year lease with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. The deal secures berth space for NCLH ships in Seattle for the full term of the lease and provides passenger volume guarantees estimated to bring $73 million dollars of revenue to the Port. Under the new lease Norwegian will manage the cruise operations at Pier 66 and will have priority rights to the cruise vessel berth during the cruise season. The Port will operate the facilities outside the cruise season.

“We have a long history with Norwegian from when we first started in the Alaska cruise market over 15 years ago, and we are thrilled with their unprecedented investment today,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Stephanie Bowman. “Opening Bell Street Cruise Terminal today is the celebration of a community partnership for success.”

“We couldn’t be more pleased to have had the opportunity to work with our partners at the Port of Seattle to enhance the guest experience at the Bell Street Cruise Terminal,” said Howard Sherman, executive vice-president of Onboard Revenue and Destination Development for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “Together, we have increased usage capacity by more than 300 percent, created a plush new lounge for suites guests, enlarged the space for all guests awaiting embarkation and much more, allowing for the vacation experience to begin as soon as our guests step foot inside the terminal by providing a seamless, comfortable and stylish ship-to-shore experience.”

The design of the new terminal repurposes existing areas to enhance the passenger experience

The new and expanded VIP lounge and passenger check-in area will have exterior views of the ship and Elliott Bay. Other terminal improvements include a modified elevated passenger boarding bridge and a new gangway that will arrive early next year. The brand new state-of-the-art 140-foot gangway will feature incredible floor-to-ceiling transparent walls, immediately connecting guests to stunning views of Elliot Bay.

The capital investment to complete the terminal improvements was shared between the Port and NCLH. The 15-year business commitment 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.

Seattle’s cruise business—currently leading all cruise homeports on the U.S. west coast in passenger volume—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.