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Ports & destinations

Port of Seattle hosts over one million cruise passengers in 2017

The Port of Seattle welcomed a record 1,071,594 revenue passenger through its cruise terminals this year, with an estimated 1,092,345 expected in 2018. Larger vessels continue to drive passenger increases. Each cruise vessel is estimated to bring in $2.7 million for the local economy, bringing total revenue for the region to over $500 million.

“By exceeding a million passengers this year, and more to come next year, the Port of Seattle continues to grow the cruise market, revenue and jobs for our region,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton. “The Seattle cruise business means a half a billion dollars in local economic impact, and we want more passengers to experience Seattle while going to Alaska.”

The Port saw a 9% increase in cruise passengers this year, which brought 983,539 revenue passengers. Seattle’s cruise business – currently leading all cruise homeports on the west coast in passenger volume – is responsible for over 4,000 jobs, $501 million in annual business revenue, and $18.9 million annually in state and local tax revenues.

“Seattle’s cruise business benefits everyone on the waterfront. They are a huge part of our business and really boost summer sales," said Andy Lipscomb, owner of The Frankfurter, the popular hot dog spot on Seattle’s waterfront for 42 years.

On May 30, 2018, the Port of Seattle welcomes the arrival of the Norwegian Bliss on its maiden voyage from shipyard to its first homeport terminal at Pier 66, recently renovated in a $30 million partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line. The 4,000 passenger Bliss is the first vessel to be constructed specifically for the Alaska cruise market, and will be the largest cruise ship to homeport at a West Coast port. The Bliss offers weekly Alaska cruises through-out summer 2018.

In 2018, the Port of Seattle will host the following homeporting cruise vessels and their itineraries:

Homeport Cruise Lines for 2018

– Carnival Cruise Line offers 7-day Alaska cruises on Carnival Legend departing Tuesdays from Pier 91.

– Celebrity Cruises offers 7-day Alaska cruises on Celebrity Solstice departing Fridays from Pier 91.

– Holland America Line offers 7-day Alaska cruises on the Eurodam and Amsterdam departing Saturdays and Sundays from Pier 91. The Zaandam offers 14-day sailings departing on Mondays, from Pier 91

– Norwegian Cruise Line offers 7-day cruises to Alaska on the Norwegian Bliss and the Norwegian Pearl. Sailings depart Saturdays and Sundays from Pier 66.

– Oceania Cruises offers a variety of itineraries on the Oceania Regatta departing from Pier 66.

– Princess Cruises offers 7-day cruises to Alaska on the Ruby Princess and Emerald Princess. Sailings depart Saturdays and Sundays from Pier 91.

– Royal Caribbean offers 7-day cruises to Alaska on Explorer of the Seas on Fridays from Pier 91.

Global Ports Holding to open new state-of-the-art terminal in Lisbon Cruise Port

Lisbon Cruise Port is to receive a significant boost with the opening of its new, state-of-the-art terminal. The terminal building, which has already won a number of awards, will be inaugurated on the 10th November 2017, following a EUR24 million investment and two year construction process. Global Ports Holding (“GPH”) – the world’s largest cruise port operator – which built and operates Lisbon Cruise Port, has worked closely with the Portuguese national government, the mayor’s office and other local partners throughout the development.

The new terminal has been an important element of recent development in Lisbon, which was awarded ‘Best City’ in the 2017 Wallpaper Magazine Design Awards. The terminal itself won ‘Best Rehabilitation Urban project’ at the SIL Portuguese Real Estate Fair 2017.

Covering around 13,800 m2 over three floors, the new terminal will provide around 1,500 meters of pier to cater for a wide variety and size of ships. It will feature two fully-automated gangway systems, on-site equipment including cranes and forklift trucks, and be able to supply vessels with check-in facilities, water supplies and other provisions while in dock. Visitors passing through the terminal will be able to enjoy the shopping and catering services, as well as the terrace with a panoramic view.

The terminal was designed by renowned Portuguese architect, João Luís Carrilho da Graça and a key consideration of the terminal design was sustainability and ensuring the smooth onward flow of tourists, to avoid congestion elsewhere in the city. The terminal is built with the idea of creating a seamless extension of the cruise ship while it is in port, providing excellent facilities for embarking and disembarking.

The terminal inauguration ceremony on 10th November will be attended by GPH CEO, Emre Sayin, and Mr. Luís Miguel Sousa, CEO of Grupo Sousa and Chairman of Lisbon Cruise Port. Portuguese Government representatives in attendance will include; Mr. Fernando Medina, Mayor of Lisbon; and Mrs. Ana Paula Vitorino, Minister of the Sea.

Emre Sayın, CEO of Global Ports Holding said: "This opening showcases the ambitious plans we have to expand our operations and is a great example of GPH working closely with the Portuguese government at a local and national level, and with our Portuguese partners to deliver an outstanding cruise terminal. We are proud to be investors in a project that will greatly benefit the local economy and boost the development of cruise tourism in the area.’’

Mr. Luís Miguel Sousa, CEO of Grupo Sousa and Chairman of Lisbon Cruise Port said: “We are delighted at the opening of the cruise terminal after a long collaboration with GPH, with whom we enjoy a very good relationship, and who have been unwavering in their commitment to deliver the best possible terminal. The new building and wider development will provide excellent facilities for ships, passengers and the residents of the vibrant city.”

Port Everglades extends slip for larger cruise ships

Larger cruise ships as long as 1,100 feet can now dock at Broward County's Port Everglades Cruise Terminal 4 without extending into the Intracoastal Waterway.

The $18-million Slip 2 construction project, adjacent to the recently renovated Cruise Terminal 4, lengthened the slip by 225 feet from the original 900 feet. The total 1,125-foot slip length meets the needs of most of today's modern cruise ships such as Holland America's Line's Pinnacle-class ships, which were introduced at Port Everglades during the 2017 cruise season with the U.S. debut of the ms Koningsdam or Princess Cruises' Royal-class ships, which also homeport at Port Everglades. Carnival Cruise Line is currently the primary user of the newly extended berth.

The Port Everglades Department is a self-supporting Enterprise Fund of Broward County, Florida government that does not rely on local tax dollars for operations. No local taxes were used for the Slip 2 extension project. The total value of economic activity related to Port Everglades is nearly $30 billion. Each cruise ship call at Port Everglades generates an estimated $2.2 million in business revenue for the local community.

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 (October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016). Ten cruise lines, one ferry service and more than 40 cruise ships sail from the South Florida seaport 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, and Silversea Cruises.

First cruise ship of 2017-2018 season transits the Expanded Canal

On October 26, the Caribbean Princess, operated by Princess Cruises, became the first cruise ship of the 2017-2018 season to transit the Expanded Panama Canal.

As part of its roundtrip itinerary, the Caribbean Princess did a turnaround transit through Agua Clara Locks on the Atlantic side. The cruise began its roundtrip 10-night itinerary from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, passing through the Bahamas, Cartagena (Colombia), Cristobal (Panama), Limon (Costa Rica) and the Cayman Islands with 3,086 passengers on board.

The Caribbean Princess was built in 2004 and has a maximum capacity of 3,600 passengers. It is a modified Grand Class cruise ship with 900 balcony staterooms, a deck of mini-suites, and the first outdoor theater on a modern cruise ship.

The Panama Canal expects to receive approximately 236 cruise ships through the Panamax and Neopanamax Locks during the upcoming 2017-2018 cruise season, which officially began on October 2, 2017.

In April 2017, Disney Cruise Line's Disney Wonder became the first cruise ship to transit the Expanded Canal. This season, the ship will transit the Canal again along with the Caribbean Princess, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Splendor and Norwegian Bliss.

Together, the five ships will make a total of 20 transits, and 11 new cruise ships will transit either the Canal's Panamax or Neopanamax Locks for the first time from the following lines: Princess Cruise, Norwegian Cruise, Carnival Cruises, Silversea Cruises, Viking Ocean Cruises, Lindblad Special Expedition and Ponant.

Royal Caribbean International to return to St Thomas 10 November

 Ships of Royal Caribbean International, the contemporary market unit in the Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd (RCCL) group, will resume calls at St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands on 10 November, the company said in a statement.

The calls have been suspended since early September due to hurricanes that hit the island.

“In partnership with the government of the US Virgin Islands, Royal Caribbean also has committed to undertaking the complete restoration of Magens Bay, one of St. Thomas' most popular tourist attractions – with plans for a grand re-opening of the pristine destination during Adventure of the Seas' visit on 10 Nov,” the company said.

Power and water to the island are fully restored and most downtown shops, restaurants and bars and tour operators are fully operational, so that guests will be able to experience a diverse and extensive array of dining, shopping and activities, it added.