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Ports & destinations

MSC Cruises praises Genoa at inauguration of new quay

MSC Cruises has praised the city of Genoa for their initiative and foresight in upgrading its port facilities through a 13-million euro investment programme that focused on the dredging, extension and enlarging of quay 1012 in the historical maritime station, Ponte dei Mille, famously known as the point from which all ocean liners started their transatlantic voyages to America over a century ago.
Speaking at the inauguration of the impressive new quay, last Saturday 24 of September, MSC Cruises CEO, Mr Pierfrancesco Vago, said Genoa’s commitment to ensuring port infrastructure is kept at the highest of standards can be viewed as an example to city and port authorities around the world.
"Port cities like Genoa are shining examples of how efficient and timely team work between all major stakeholders can achieve top results. I thank you most sincerely. The seriousness of this commitment is as strong as my belief that the upgrading of port facilities and maritime structures for new generation vessels is so valuable that its importance can never be taken for granted. Through quay 1012 the city of Genoa has shown a keen understanding of the major economical impact that the cruise sector, and MSC in particular, brings to its port. It can now guarantee the thousands of tourists that embark and disembark every day from our ships all the comfort and convenience of the most modern of facilities in one of the world’s most charming historical maritime stations," said Mr Vago.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by the Archbishop of Genoa, Angelo Bagnasco, the Mayor of Genoa, Marta Vincenzi, as well as representatives of the Port Authority and Maritime Station and members of the Provincial authorities.

Genoa has been the homeport of MSC Cruises since the start of its radical expansion programme in 2004. Next year the company will be deploying seven ships to the port during which 750 000 passengers will embark and disembark during a total of 157 ports of call.

MSC Cruises has also invested heavily in the city of Genoa. The MSC Group’s catering subsidiary MSC Italcatering’s has its headquarters in Genoa. The group is also building the new “Towers of San Benigno” office block that will not only bring all the different MSC departments active in the city under one roof but also modify the skyline of the city forever.


Kiel expands cruise berth capacity

The Port of Kiel is to increase its cruise ship handling capacity. In time for the 2013 cruise shipping season the port will extend its Berth No. 1 at the Ostuferhafen so that cruise ships of 300 m and over can berth there and exchange passengers. It will be the third berth facility for big cruise ships in Kiel. Dr Dirk Claus, Managing Director of the Port of Kiel (SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. KG) said "more cruises start and end in Kiel than in any other German port. In order to cement our market position medium and long-term, we are investing in the expansion of our capacities." Currently, Kiel boasts two berths for big cruise ships at the Ostseekai and has further terminal capacities for ships up to 200 m in length at Norwegenkai and Schwedenkai. 

Berth No. 1 at the Ostuferhafen has a quay length of 380 m and a consistent water depth alongside of 9.50 m. As part of the expansion work it is planned to install new fenders and passenger gangways. Passenger and luggage handling will take place on an area of more than 3,000 m² and the former Warehouse No. II, acquired by the Port of Kiel just this summer, will be transformed into a passenger handling terminal. “We are offering shipping companies and passengers a very good overall package in the Ostuferhafen – one with a very special atmosphere”, said Dirk Claus. “We are modelling ourselves on the already well-established solutions at other ports in northern Europe.” From a transport point of view, the new cruise ship berth is almost ideally located for connection to the motorway network and more than 400 long-stay parking places are available directly at the handling building. The Ostuferhafen also meets ISPS Code port safety demands and has all the required supply and waste management facilities.

Celebrity Constellation calls at Marmaris

Celebrity Constellation made her inaugural maiden call at Marmaris Cruise Port on September 24. The luxury ship came to Marmaris in the early hours of the morning with her 1,969 passengers and 906 crew members on board. This is the sixth of nine cruise ships which is making their maiden call in the port of Marmaris throughout 2011.

Once again Marmaris Cruise Port welcomed guests in traditional Turkish style. Celebrity Constellation's guests were greeted with the music and shows of the Ottoman military band, also known as the "janissary band of musicians". Marmaris Cruise Port kept the traditional style welcome with a complimentary mini Turkish bazaar at the port entrance. The guests had the chance to walk through the mini bazaar before they left to visit town and surroundings.

The mini Turkish bazaar incorporated many Turkish tastes for the guests to see and try. These included; a baklava stall, traditional Turkish ice-cream and honey doughnuts and Turkish delight. Guests were also presented with free souvenirs and gifts on behalf of Marmaris Cruise Port such as, red roses, evil eye beads, bookmarks, magnets and postcards.

The warm Marmaris weather kept guests happy as they enjoyed the various Turkish tastes and the music from the janissary band of musicians. The passengers then had the opportunity to discover Marmaris or go onto excursions of their choices.

The master of Celebrity Constellation was presented with a commemorative plaque, made of a traditional Turkish tile; a handcrafted ceramic with Ottomon Gallion motives by Marmaris Cruise Port's Marketing Director, Ipek Tugay.

Baltimore climbs national rankings for cruise passengers

The Port of Baltimore handled the fifth-largest amount of cruise passengers among East Coast cruise ports in 2010, according to recently released numbers from the Cruise Lines International Association. Baltimore’s fifth-place slot is one better than it ranked in 2009. Nationally, the port ranked 12th (up from 14th) after a record-breaking 2010 cruise year that resulted in 210,549 people sailing from the port onboard 90 cruises.

"Baltimore’s growing cruise business is a real success story for our state," said Governor Martin O’Malley. "Our momentum is built upon having a cruise terminal with a unique location with plenty of onsite parking right off Interstate 95. This allows for easy access and attracts people from up and down the East Coast and from the Midwest. As a city, Baltimore is convenient, accessible and provides great hospitality for travelers before and after their cruise. These characteristics are key reasons why Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean International make Baltimore a home for their ships."

In improving to its current ranking, Baltimore surpassed Jacksonville (approximately 174,000) and Alaska (approximately 128,000) for embarking cruise passengers in 2010. The top five cruise ports on the East Coast for passengers in 2010 were Miami, Port Everglades, Port Canaveral, New York, and Baltimore.

In 2011 the Port of Baltimore has a new record of 112 year-round cruises offered by Carnival, Celebrity, and Royal Caribbean. Cruises sail to the Bahamas, Bermuda, Caribbean, and New England/Canada. Recently, Carnival signed a new five-year extension to continue offering cruises from Baltimore. The first two years are financially guaranteed and there are three one-year options.

Earlier this year, the Port of Baltimore began using a state-of-the-art, climate-controlled enclosed passenger boarding bridge. The bridge is mobile and flexible to accommodate various sized cruise ships.

In the last three years, Baltimore has seen a marked increase in its number of cruise passengers. In 2009, its first year of year-round cruising, more than 167,000 passengers sailed on 81 cruises. In 2008, about 61,000 people sailed on 27 cruises that operated in the spring, summer and fall.

About 500 jobs in Maryland are generated by the port’s cruise business. The economic impact is about $90 million.

Baltimore is within a six hour drive of 40 million people. It is the closest East Coast drive-to port from Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Chicago and is within a three-hour drive from the New York City metro area. The Port of Baltimore’s cruise terminal is within 10 miles from BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. Maryland’s median household income of $70,545 is the highest in the U.S. Baltimore is also located within a four-hour drive of eight of the ten wealthiest counties in the U.S.

Cruise Down Under welcomes Tasports' announcement

Cruise Down Under welcomes the announcement by Tasports that it will develop Macquarie Shed No 2 in Hobart as a dedicated cruise and Antarctic facility.

"The port of Hobart has long been a popular cruise destination and the government, business and the local community have a reputation for supporting and welcoming visiting cruise ships, however existing infrastructure facilities are limited," General Manager Jill Abel said.

"Hobart remains an integral link between Australia and New Zealand for itinerary planning and with the increase in number and size of cruise ships operating in Australia over the coming seasons, Hobart will continue to host the greater majority of cruise ship visits to Tasmania."

"The deep water harbour, proximity to the city centre, accessibility to a variety of quality touring experiences, along with its maritime history, make Hobart a highly attractive destination for cruise shipping. The development of the dedicated facility will certainly enhance the experience and increase operational efficiencies."

Abel stated that consultation with industry has been a focus of Tasports as a part of this process in order to ensure that the project delivers for cruise lines, cruise passengers, tourism operators and service providers.

"The CDU Economic Impact Study (2009-10) reports an economic benefit to the Hobart region of $12.4 million in cruise shipping related expenditure," Abel said. The announcement is timely, with the Cruise Down Under annual conference being held in Newcastle next week (24th -26th August) where port infrastructure and "the model port" will be a focus of the program.