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Ports & destinations

SATS-Creuers plans Asia's first smart terminal solution at Marina Bay Cruise Centre

SATS-Creuers Cruise Services Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of SATS Ltd, announced today it is building a Smart Terminal Solution for the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore (MBCCS).

The first of its kind in Asia, this smart cruise terminal solution will enhance MBCCS’ responsiveness and elevate passengers’ experience with the use of smart sensors, video analytics and big data managed through a central command-and-control system.
Sensors placed at strategic locations such as check-in terminals and baggage handling area provide real-time monitoring of traffic conditions and passenger flows and detect congestions at these locations. The system will automatically trigger an alert to Terminal Management to enable a swift response to situations.

Better analytics will also enable MBCCS to provide information to the cruise lines and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) to facilitate resource planning and coordination. The better coordination will ensure smoother operations and enhance the efficiency of handling disruptions.

Dubbed “The Caribbean of the East”, the Southeast Asia region is expected to see potentially up to 4.5 million cruise passengers by 2035. In line with the growth of cruise travel in the region, the Singapore cruise industry has also experienced a robust growth in 2017. MBCCS’ Smart Terminal Solution will enhance Singapore’s attractiveness as the homeport for larger cruise ships.

Said Lionel Wong, Chief Executive Officer of MBCCS, “We experienced an increase of 31% ship calls and 51% passengers handled last year. This significant growth in cruise travel is expected to continue. Augmenting our processes with technology will help us manage the increased volume more efficiently and provide a pleasant, seamless travel experience for our passengers.”

Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, welcomed the initiative. He said, “The use of smart sensors and data analytics to enhance operations at Singapore’s ports and cruise terminal facilities will not only contribute to better operational efficiencies but also enhance the level of security.”

SATS-Creuers has appointed NCS Communications Engineering Pte Ltd to support them in the implementation of the smart terminal solution.

Disney Cruise Line returns to Tortola Pier Park

The British Virgin Islands smiled as the Disney Fantasy was seen just beyond the horizon on Tuesday, 28th August, 2018, bringing great excitement to residents and business owners alike, who gleefully welcomed the ship back to the BVI for the first time since the 2017 hurricanes.

Disney passengers were greeted with the melodic sounds of steel pans and the smiling faces of customer service representatives as they disembarked the ship and meandered onto the cruise and shopping facility. As a part of their welcome, Disney Fantasy guests were provided welcome drinks, were entertained with a small parade that showcased BVI culture and enjoyed interacting with store owners as they showcased their products. Throughout the day, Tortola Pier Park buzzed with passengers as some queued to go on their tours, while others happily shopped in the cruise facility as well as ventured into the city.

“We were so happy to see Disney Fantasy berthed at our pier once again and their over 3,600 passengers and 1,531 crew members on ground enjoying our cruise and shopping facility and the destination. Our partner cruise lines and Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) has worked tirelessly with us over the past months ensuring the quick recovery of our islands and Disney Fantasy being back here is yet another showing of their commitment to the BVI and our cruise product,” said Vance Lewis, Interim CEO of Tortola Pier Park.

“We welcome Disney back with open arms and look forward to the full return of all the cruise lines to our beautiful shores,” added Mr. Lewis.

Upon experiencing the destination, many cruise passengers provided great positive feedback and expressed their delight in being in the Territory and their love for the BVI’s unspoiled assets which showcases crystal blue seas and picturesque scenery.

Fifty four (54) stores stood open at Tortola Pier Park for Disney’s return offering a large selection of shopping options to their guests. These stores included Diamonds International, Little Switzerland and Del Sol/Cariloha as well as a variety of other stores providing unique offerings in clothing and accessories, electronics, food and beverage, health and wellness, banking, liquor, hair and makeup, jewelry and watches and car rentals. With 75% of the stores now open, the Management and tenants of Tortola Pier Park continues to work together to attain a 100% operational status by the end of the year.

After receiving a direct hit from one of the strongest and most catastrophic hurricanes to ever formed in the Atlantic basin, the Government and the people of the British Virgin Islands began to pick up the pieces and rebuild their homes and businesses. In just under a year post the hurricanes, major progress has been seen in the restoration of the BVI, as the community continues to rebuild with positive spirits, determination and a great deal of hard work.

Canaveral Port Authority commissioners approve operating agreement with Carnival Cruise Line

The Canaveral Port Authority (CPA) Board of Commissioners took the final step today and voted unanimously to approve the terms of a long-term agreement with Carnival Cruise Line, paving the way for Carnival to homeport its newest and largest ship at Port Canaveral.

“I am extremely excited about this next chapter for Port Canaveral, and extraordinarily proud of the Port’s leadership team, staff and our cruise partners who have brought us to where we are today. Carnival’s commitment to our Port and their multiple decades of operations here is a tribute to our entire Port community,” said Wayne Justice, Chairman, Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners.

The new operating agreement, which begins September 1, 2018 and replaces an existing six-year agreement set to expire next year, provides a 25-year primary term with four additional five-year renewal options. Under the terms of the agreement, Carnival’s minimum annual guarantee increases from the current fixed $7 million passenger fee to $14.5 million with annual escalators.

“This agreement is a valuable milestone for the Port’s cruise business and a foremost achievement for the entire region’s economy. Our partnership with Carnival has continued to grow over the years thanks to this community’s assets, our commitment to service, and a steadfast focus on preserving our financial strength to invest in the Port’s future,” said Tom Weinberg, Secretary/Treasurer, Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners.

Canaveral Port Authority and Carnival Cruise Line will invest in building and equipping a new two-story 185,000-sq. ft. terminal to accommodate the as-yet-unnamed 180,000-ton Carnival Cruise Line ship, engineered with Carnival Corporation’s state-of-the-art LNG “green cruising” design platform. The new cruise vessel will have a 5,286 lower berth capacity with a maximum capacity of approximately 6,500 guests.

“This agreement will have lasting economic benefit for both the Port and Carnival Cruise Line,” said Capt. John Murray Port CEO. “We are excited, thrilled, and honored to enter this new generation of an exceptional relationship with Carnival Corporation.”

“With its convenient location, excellent facilities and friendly staff, Port Canaveral is one of our most popular and fastest-growing homeports and we’re delighted to bring this exciting, one-of-a-kind ship to the Space Coast in 2020,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

“The most exciting aspect, and the reason a new terminal is necessary, is that this groundbreaking new class of ship – the largest ever constructed for Carnival Cruise Line – will be home ported at Port Canaveral when it’s delivered in 2020. This ship, which can carry up to 6,500 passengers will be the first LNG-powered cruise ship based in North America,” said Capt. Murray.

Constructing the new CT-3 terminal, plus an adjacent elevated parking facility to accommodate nearly 1,800 vehicles, and related wharf, road and access improvements will total $150 million – estimated to be the largest single project in the history of the Port. The new terminal is planned for completion by June 2020.

The arrival of the new Carnival ship in 2020 will mark 30 years that Carnival Cruise Line has been sailing from Port Canaveral, the longest of any of the Port’s cruise partners.

Icy Strait Point celebrates 1,000th ship call with Celebrity Cruises

On Aug. 28, at 3 p.m., Celebrity Infinity set a new record on her 80th and final visit to Icy Strait Point, Alaska’s only privately owned cruise ship destination developed by Huna Totem Corporation. As her sister ship Celebrity Millennium departed, Celebrity Infinity pulled into Icy Strait Point, marking the 1,000th ship call and bringing in the 2,000,000th guest since Icy Strait Point opened in 2004.

“Celebrity Mercury was the first ship to ever call on Icy Strait Point in 2004,” Huna Totem Corporation President and CEO Russell Dick said. “Icy Strait Point’s success today wouldn’t be possible without the early commitments Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. made and continue to make to bring travelers to Icy Strait Point.”

Celebrity Infinity’s final Alaska sailing on Tuesday before her repositioning to the Caribbean concludes a long history of success in the 49th state. “Welcoming Celebrity Infinity represents the past, present and the future. Celebrity Infinity made her first four calls on Icy Strait Point in 2005, the cruise ship destination’s second season. Now she is our 1000th ship. When she leaves, she’ll usher in a new class of larger ships to Icy Strait Point,” Huna Totem Corporation Marketing Director Mickey Richardson said.

Celebrity Eclipse is taking over Celebrity Infinity’s Alaska itinerary in May 2019. Launched in 2010 with a guest capacity of 2,850, Celebrity Eclipse brings an additional 650 guests per port visit.

In addition, Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Joy will call on Icy Strait Point in 2019. At approximately 4,000 passengers each, the Joy, and her sister ship the Bliss, are the largest cruise ships scheduled to sail in Alaska in 2019.

“These new ships mean continued growth and economic opportunity for our shareholders, the community of Hoonah and the Southeast Alaska region,” Dick said.

Icy Strait Point’s Vice President of Operations Tyler Hickman is enthusiastic about the cruise ship destination’s growth. “In 2018, 107 ships called on Icy Strait Point. In 2019, we’ll see 131 ships. And, they’re bigger,” he adds. “We’ll see a 45 percent increase in passengers next season. By the number of ship visits year over year, Icy Strait Point is the fastest-growing port in Alaska.”

During its first season of operation in 2004, Icy Strait Point saw just 32 cruise ship visits.

“The 1000th ship is a great milestone,” Cruise Lines International Association Alaska President John Binkley said. “I admire the persistence and tenacity Icy Strait Point has shown in building an incredible destination. Hitting the millionth passenger in a single season is not that far away.”

Icy Strait Point is a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of Huna Totem Corporation, the village corporation owned by approximately 1,350 Alaska Natives with aboriginal ties to Hoonah and the Glacier Bay area. Located 35 miles west of Juneau and 22 miles from Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Icy Strait Point is the only private large-ship destination in Alaska.

Port of Turku plans joint terminal for cruise ferry companies

The port of Turku in south western Finland plans to build a cruise ferry terminal that would serve Tallink group and Viking Line, its two cruise ferry customers.

At the moment, the companies use separate facilities that are located within a few hundred metres from each other at the mouth of the Aura River.

A computer generated image shows a large Y-shaped building where the Silja Line terminal has stood since its opening in 1972. The company is part of the Tallink group.

Road and railway links to the planned terminal would also be built and the project is estimated to cost about €45 million, the Port said in a newsletter.

Silja Line and Viking Line both have two large cruise ferries in service between Turku. The Aland Islands and Stockholm. The crossing takes about 10 hours each way.