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Ports & destinations

Heraklion opens new cruise terminal

Heraklion Port Authority S.A. has announced that the new cruise terminal in Heraklion cruise port, pier 4-5, is fully operational. The inauguration ceremony of the new cruise terminal took place on 10 November 2017 at the new facility.

The event was attended by Mr.Christos Lambridis, General Secretary of the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy, Mr. Aris Batsoulis, Senior Vice President of Medcruise, Mr. Thanos Pallis, General Secretary of Medcruise as well as members of the Greek Parliament, local authorities, and users.

Heraklion Port Authority S.A. has set as top priority the development of the cruise port with the view to become an important cruise destination and a possible hub for the East Med.

The new cruise terminal is a permanent tent construction covering 1.125 square meters, providing all the required services and equipment for transit as well as turnaround calls.

As from September 2017, Heraklion cruise port, has welcomed, Mein Schiff 1, Azura, Norwegian Spirit, Costa neoRiviera, MSC Fantasia, MSC Sinfonia, Queen Victoria, AIDAstella, AIDAaura, Silver Wind and Viking Star and successfully performed four full turnaround operations at the new terminal.

Cruise Gate Hamburg reports record growth

Cruise Gate Hamburg (CGH) ended the 2017 cruise season with yet another record result. 197 ships carrying 810,000 passengers visited Hamburg. This is an increase in passenger numbers of over 10% compared with the previous year (2016: 170 calls and 722,000 passengers).

“Over the past years the cruise industry has become an important economic factor for the city,” says Sacha Rougier, Managing Director of CGH. “There is a reason why Hamburg is known for having the most eventful city port in the world. It is a great location to stage cruise events such as the Cruise Days or the Harbour’s Birthday which ten ships came to celebrate this year. Every year the events draw thousands of visitors to the Hanseatic city. Other spectator magnets are the spectacular ship christenings, sail-out parades and maiden calls. On top, there are the cruise ships themselves that stage evening and other events in the Port of Hamburg.” And Rougier reveals something else, “From 2018 we will welcome a new cruise line here. We are delighted that Viking Cruises will send not one but two luxury liners to Hamburg, namely the Viking Sun and Viking Sky.”

Next year CGH expects to see another record growth compared to 2017. All in all, 220 ships with some 880,000 passengers (26 cruise lines, 50 ships) are projected to visit Hamburg in 2018, which is all set to become another record-breaking year both in terms of calls and passengers.

Jens Meier, CEO of Hamburg Port Authority (HPA), is also pleased with what has been achieved in terms of sustainability. “The shore power station in Altona, which is unique in the world, successfully started regular operations at the beginning of the season. Cruise ships mooring there can now be supplied with zero-emission eco-power,” says Meier. In the 2017 cruise season 30% of the ships that called at the Port of Hamburg used alternative energy such as shore power or LNG (liquefied natural gas). “Hamburg wants to promote the use of environmentally friendly power, which is why we came up with new discounts on the port fee and an additional environmental component to reward clean ships.”

Hamburg’s two major cruise line customers will also point the way in the 2018 season. Aida Cruises will continue to support Hamburg‘s pioneering projects regarding the use of alternative energy sources in the Port of Hamburg. Three of the altogether eight AIDA Cruises ships that are scheduled to call in Hamburg in 2018 – the AIDAsol, AIDAperla and AIDAnova – either rely on green shore power from the local grid or electricity generated from zero-emission liquefied natural gas.

MSC Cruises, too, will send a second ship to Hamburg in the coming season. Besides the MSC Preziosa the MSC Meraviglia, a new mega-liner, will visit Hamburg from the spring of 2018 onwards. The all- weather ship can accommodate over 5,700 guests, making it the biggest newbuilding ever to have been launched by a European cruise line. TUI Cruises has repeatedly pointed the way and will do so again in May 2018 when the Mein Schiff 1 will be christened in Hamburg.

In 2018 cruise fans can look forward to maiden calls by a total of ten ships: the Asuka 2, AIDAperla, AIDAnova, Mein Schiff 1, MSC Meraviglia, Navigator of the Seas, Seabourn Ovation, Viking Sun and Viking Sky.

Port Canaveral names Dave German Director, Cruise Business Development

Port Canaveral's Cruise Team is gaining a new dimension with the appointment of Dave German as Director, Cruise Business Development, effective Friday, November 10, 2017. German previously served as Port Canaveral's Senior Harbormaster. In his new role, he will be responsible for building the Port's alliances with cruise lines for both home ported and port-of-call vessels.

“Port Canaveral is growing exponentially and Dave will play an key role in enhancing our business relationships with current and future cruise partners," said Port CEO Captain John Murray. "Port Canaveral has a commitment to the global cruise industry to support their current needs, as well as to be ready to meet the demands of the future. Dave’s appointment to this important segment of our business enhances our ability to significantly support cruise lines and strengthen those very important partnerships."

In his newly-created role at the Port German will work closely with the cruise line executives and key decision makers developing new business lines and itineraries for Port Canaveral. “His extensive maritime education, port experience, and customer service background along with his exemplary marketing skills made him the ideal choice to join our marketing team at Port Canaveral," stated Bobby “G” Giangrisotomi, Senior Director Business Development and Cruise.

Dave German holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marine transportation and logistics from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and earned an MBA in finance from Ohio University. He joined Port Canaveral in March, 2005 as Port Operations Manager and was promoted to Senior Harbormaster in February, 2013. During that time, German led the Port's management of maritime operations and overall usage of the Canaveral Port Authority’s docks and waterways.

Montréal’s cruise season sees a record 33% increase in 2017

The Port of Montréal welcomed 114,517 passengers and crew members during the 2017 cruise season, up 33% compared to 2016. In all, some 21 ships representing 16 international cruise lines moored 52 times at the newly renovated T1 Terminal located at the Alexandra Pier in Old Montréal and at Terminal T3 located east of Jacques-Cartier Bridge. This season also saw 16 domestic cruises operating between Montréal and the Magdalen Islands.

Three new luxury international cruise liners visited Montréal for the first time this season, namely the Viking Sky and Viking Sea from Viking Cruises, and the Silver Muse from Silversea Cruises. The season opened on May 6 with the arrival of the Veendam from Holland America and closed on October 27 with the departure of the Seven Seas Mariner from Regent Seven SeasCruises.

The Montréal Cruise Committee is delighted with the outstanding results posted in 2017. Since its creation in 2011, the committee has seen the numbers of passengers and crew members visiting Montréal increase by more than 140%.

“I would like to congratulate and extend my sincere thanks to the Montréal Cruise Committee’s partners and teams on the ground for receiving a record number of cruise passengers and crew members in 2017,” said Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of the Montréal Port Authority. “Since June 10, we have been proudly welcoming ships to our revamped cruise terminal in the Port of Montréal. It features modern and effective infrastructure for use by visitors and cruise lines, in addition to an international-calibre maritime architectural signature. This season also underscored the importance of maintaining our facilities east of the Jacques-Cartier Bridge to ensure our mooring capacity during the high season.”

According to Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal, 2017 was a springboard year, elevating Montréal among the top urban destinations for international cruise lines. “I am extremely satisfied with the results we achieved. Next season promises to be just as busy with forecasts of approximately 130,000 passengers and crew members.”

According to data collected by the Montréal Cruise Committee, clients are primarily American (68%), English (12%), Canadian (7%) and Australian (5%). Nearly 70% of passengers who began or ended a cruise in Montréal prolonged their stay by an average of two nights.

International cruise season ends on a positive note for Baie-Comeau

The cruise ship Pearl Mist, of the Pearl Seas Cruises line, closed the international cruise season at Baie-Comeau on Sunday, October 22. This year, ten cruise ships docked at the Baie-Comeau port for a total of eight days. In all, some 6,000 passengers and crew members were able to enjoy the Baie-Comeau experience.

The exceptionally warm temperatures undoubtedly favoured our tourist attractions, which were very busy during the port of call days. Popular sites included, among others, Franquelin’s lumberjack Village, St. Amelie’s Church, the Garden of the Glaciers, the Seashell Valley, Le Manoir of Baie-Comeau, Manic-2 and Pointe-aux-Outardes’ Nature Park.

Two inaugural ports of call by German cruise ships highlighted the season: they were the Hamburg of Plantours Cruises and Artania of Phoenix Reisen. In total, one-third (33%) of cruise ship passengers visiting Baie-Comeau came from Germany this year – a dramatic increase over 2015, when Baie-Comeau received its first German cruise ship, representing 13% of its clientele. Slightly ahead of Germany is the United States at 41%, with the United Kingdom at 17.5%.

And what is more, a German TV crew visited several locations in the region, including the Seashell Valley, to shoot their seventh season of travel documentaries.