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Ports & destinations

New cruise facility inaugurated in Venice Passenger Port today

Terminal Isonzo 2, the new cruise facility of the Passenger Port of Venice has been opened today. Carried out in 18 months and with an overall investment of 12 million euros (7 million euros by the Venice Port Authority and 5 million euros by Venezia Terminal Passeggeri), running at top speed it will guarantee the handling of 600.000 passengers per year.

Located in the Marittima Area in the homonymous quay, the terminal overlooks the lagoon and is conceived according to the maximum rationalization standards and extreme attention to the security of passengers in addition to the use of technologies and materials reducing environmental impact. The overall design has been conceived to guarantee an embarkation and disembarkation from cruise ships and an easy transfer of the passengers on buses.

"With this new terminal inaugurated today, the infrastructural development of the Passenger Port will increase our passenger capacity, allowing us to better welcome the 1.806.000 passengers expected by the end of 2011 (11,69% increase compared to 2010," emphasises a satisfied Sandro Trevisanato, Chairman of Venezia Terminal Passeggeri. "It is clear that we are acting in the right direction and this result bear out the merit of the choices we have made and the programme of investments we have carried out for the redevelopment of the Marittima area, in order to meet the needs of both operators and users. Venice has now become a major cruise hub. It is the departure point for itineraries that cover the most attractive area in the Mediterranean, which run through Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Greece and Turkey. Its success is attributable to a number of factors, including winning over and retaining leading players in the sector and having wiretapped the new market trends, such as the winter cruising success (60.000 passengers in the period November 2010 / March 2011) which allow to visit the Mediterranean during the low season, appreciating at best its several historical and artistic treasures. It is also worth mentioning the short cruise phenomenon, a growing new trend aimed at those trying out this holiday segment for the first time, and the excellent results achieved by the segment dedicated to incentive and business cruises."

The terminal is divided into two parts: the Arrival area measuring 7.485 sqm and the Departure area measuring 7.130 sqm with a panoramic terrace at the first floor measuring 2.150 sqm. The Departure Area is provided with a duty free, a café and a VIP lounge. The embarkment of passengers is made smooth and secure thanks to a mobile boarding bridge dividing the passenger flow from the baggage handling and the ship provisions.

QE2 Anchor is placed in Southampton’s Old Town

The huge anchor from the city’s beloved cruise-liner the QE2, has been re-homed on the footpath in front of Holy Rood Church. On 10 July, the 13 tonne anchor, given to Southampton City Council as a gift from Cunard was lifted into place. It will create another historical site in Southampton and will be celebrated with a formal opening in the late summer.

Councillor Royston Smith, Leader of Southampton City Council, said: “Cunard’s generous gift has finally been given an appropriate home in Southampton. Not only will it add an important heritage site to the city, it will also raise the profile of the QE2 Mile and ultimately attract more people to Southampton’s Old Town. I look forward to formally unveiling the name plaque and opening the site with Cunard in due course.”

Peter Shanks, Cunard President and Managing Director, added:  "QE2 called at her home port of Southampton more times than any other port during her long and illustrious career so it is entirely fitting for there to be such a tribute to her in her home city.  The anchor and the designated 'QE2 Mile' will ensure that her legacy in Southampton will endure for many years to come.”

The QE2 anchor has a strong connection with Southampton. Not only did the ship bring prosperity to the city but it is also a symbol of great pride as it sailed off to help in the Falkland conflict 1982.  In 1957 Holy Rood Church was dedicated as a memorial to the sailors of the Merchant Navy. 

The council says it is turning Southampton’s Old Town into an exciting and vibrant city quarter, celebrating the city’s medieval heritage.  Holy Rood Place will create a more pedestrian friendly environment with new green bedding and will encourage al fresco dining from several of the new restaurants in the area. Another milestone in the Old Town includes Tudor House and Garden opening on July 30.

Seville improves locks, Braemar to call at city centre

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines will make itsinaugural visit to the Port of Seville on 27th June 2011, with the call of the 24,400 gross ton Braemar. Matt Grimes, Director, Planning, Ports & Logistics for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said in a statement: “We are delighted that Braemar will be the first Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ ship to berth at the Port of Seville.”

“The recent refurbishment of the port’s entrance lock means that we are able to call into the heart of Seville, berthing the ship only a short walk from the centre of the Andalucian capital.  It is an important addition to our busy cruise programme, and offers an exciting combination of tradition and innovation, making it an ideal destination for the enjoyment of our guests. The call demonstrates FOCL’s ability to reach smaller ports that today’s new mega-liners are unable to call at.”

To commemorate this maiden call to the city, a representative of the Seville Tourism Board will board Braemar to offer commentaries and information about the Guadalquivir River to all the guests enjoying the cruise along this scenic waterway, allowing them to make the most of their beautiful surroundings as the ship sails some 40 nautical miles inland from the coast.

Santiago García-Dils de la Vega, Head ofPromotion, Marketing and Visitor’s Centre, Seville Tourism Board, said: “Seville has become a regular stop-off point for several cruise lines, and the Seville Port Authority and the Seville Tourism Board have been working closely together to promote the city as an ideal destination for cruises."

“The welcome growth of this cruise activity, and the increasing importance of the ‘Delicias’ dock area, reinforce the integration of the Port of Seville into the city, greatly enhancing it in turn from a touristic point of view."

“The maiden call of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines in Seville City is a moment of special satisfaction after the fruitful Promotional Action Plan that the Seville Tourism Board and the Port of Seville have developed in co-operation with this prestigious cruise line over the past few years.”

Larger ships call at Cadiz on the Atlantic coast of Spain and passengers are then taken by coach to Seville on tours.

Seabourn Quest calls at Marmaris on her maiden voyage

Following her naming ceremony, Bahamas flagged Seabourn Quest has made her inaugural call at Marmaris on her maiden voyage which started in Barcelona last week. Seabourn Quest arrived with her 410 passengers and 344 crew members on board at Marmaris Cruise Port in the early hours of Thursday morning.

For the occasion of Seabourn Quest's maiden voyage and inaugural call in Marmaris, a welcoming ceremony was arranged by Marmaris Cruise Port. The new luxurious ship was greeted in traditional Turkish style and hospitality with folk dancers and red roses. The music and dancing put smiles on passengers' faces and they showed their excitement by taking lots of photos. Evil eye beads and gifts with views of Marmaris such as, bags, postcards, magnets and bookmarks were given to passengers as memorabilia. Passengers also got the chance to taste delicious Turkish delight. After the ceremony, as some passengers went on excursions, others preferred to visit the town of Marmaris and take advantage of the sunny day at the beach. Passengers had enough time to enjoy the beauties of Marmaris before the ship's departure at 18:00 on her way to Kusadasi.

For her maiden voyage, a commemorative hand crafted wooden plaque made of a traditional ceramic tile with Ottoman Gallion motives was presented to the master of Seabourn Quest by Marmaris Cruise Port management.

It was a pleasant and busy day at Marmaris Cruise Port welcoming two cruise ships; Seabourn Quest and regular caller AIDAdiva.

FCCA prepares for the 18th annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show in Puerto Rico

The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association is gearing up for the premier event of 2011, the annual FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show taking place in San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 3-7, 2011.

More than 1,000 cruise industry partners will come together with 100 Cruise Executives from the FCCA Member Lines to share ideas and discuss industry trends. Executives from the FCCA Member Lines will once again host a series of round table discussions in the areas of Marketing, Shore Excursions and Operations.

This year's trade show promises to be the main draw of the conference with an expanded number of booths and special destination pavilion options, this will be the perfect way to showcase destinations as a team including vendors who want to sell their products to the lines, tour operators who wish to provide tours and overall showcasing a destination who wants to make the greatest impact at the FCCA Conference & Trade Show.

The FCCA will pre-set meetings with select Cruise Executives on a One-on-One basis for pre-registered Delegates.

The Annual Golf Tournament has become an important resource for meeting top executives in an exclusive casual atmosphere. Play in a foursome hosted by a Cruise Executive and contribute to a worthy cause, the FCCA Foundation.

For more information on the FCCA Conference & Trade Show, please visit