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Ports & destinations

Indonesia to cut cost port charges to reverse cruise call decline - report

Indonesia is planning to cut port charges in order to revert a sharp fall in the number of cruise ship calls, government ministers said, according to the Jakarta Post newspaper.

“We’ll readjust the port fees with Singapore as the benchmark. We’ll issue regulations and adopt the National Cruise Tourism Strategy to prevent such a problem from happening again in the future,” Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, was quoted by Jakarta Post as saying.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya and Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumad the number of cruise calls in Indonesia had decreased from 400 in 2015 to 350 calls in 2016. However, the number of passengers had increased from 200,000 in 2015 to 260,000 in 2016. “That shows that the cruise ships coming to Indonesia have increased in size,” he added.

“We’re going to build a cruise terminal that meets international standards in Benoa. That is part of the preparations for the IMF – World Bank Annual Meeting in October 2018, which will be attended by 13,000-18,000 people from 189 countries,” Luhut added.

Port of Vancouver expects a record cruise season

The 2017 cruise season officially kicked off on April 11 at the Port of Vancouver with the arrival of the Star Princess at Canada Place cruise terminal. Approximately 840,000 cruise passengers on 237 vessel visits are expected in Vancouver this year, a 2% increase in passenger volume over 2016.

“Vancouver cruise passenger volumes have been strong and steady since 2013. This year, we are forecasting our highest passenger volumes since 2010,” said Robin Silvester, President and CEO of Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. “We are thrilled to welcome even more visitors this year to our cruise terminal at Canada Place.”

The Vancouver cruise industry stimulates on average nearly $3 million in direct economic activity for each vessel that visits Canada Place, and the 2016 cruise season directly generated nearly 7,000 jobs across Canada, $300 million in wages, and contributed $840 million to national GDP.

As a top global destination, Vancouver continues to attract a wide spectrum of cruise lines and passengers from around the world. This year, 33 different vessels from 15 cruise lines will be visiting Canada Place cruise terminal at the Port of Vancouver ranging from luxury and smaller expedition style ships designed to carry small groups of passengers, to some of the largest vessels in the Alaska cruise market.

Highlights for 2017

– The Port of Vancouver’s Canada Place cruise terminal welcomes the return of Holland America, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent, Disney Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Crystal Cruises and Silversea Cruises. These cruise lines all have vessels that use the Port of Vancouver as a home port, which is where the cruise begins and ends its journey.
– More than 840,000 passengers are expected on 237 vessel visits in Vancouver in 2017. This represents a two per cent increase in passenger volumes compared to the 2016 season. Each cruise ship that docks at the Port of Vancouver contributes, on average, $2.85 million to the local economy.
– Golden Princess will be overnighting in Vancouver on July 1 to enjoy the Canada Day celebrations at Canada Place at the Port of Vancouver and fireworks for Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.
– The World, the largest private residential ship, will visit the Port of Vancouver during three stops on its world-wide itinerary.
– Some of the largest vessels that visit the Port of Vancouver include the Ruby Princess, Emerald Princess, Crown Princess and the Celebrity Solstice.

New facilities for cruise business at Lerwick ahead of record seasons

Lerwick Harbour is providing additional facilities for the cruise industry which is expected to deliver another two record seasons at the Shetland port, continuing a trend which saw record traffic in 2015 and 2016.

The new £16.5 million multi-purpose jetty at Holmsgarth North, completed in late 2016, is set to be used by a cruise ship for the first time on 12 June when Viking Star berths.

The outside arm of the jetty will be used initially for vessels up to 230 metres in length and Viking ships will be among a number to use Holmsgarth North this summer.

Lerwick Port Authority has commissioned a new unit to be used at the location to provide a focal meet-and-greet station and as an information point for visitors. The towable unit will be a flexible asset to assist the welcoming team with their well-received service.

Victor Sandison. Senior Commercial Executive, Lerwick Port Authority, said: “Holmsgarth North is significant addition to our capacity to welcome cruise ships alongside at a time when the port is attracting more passengers.”

The port is currently expecting almost 62,000 passengers this season, up 22% on 2016, with an increase of 18.2% in the gross tonnage of shipping to 2,591,975 – both new records. The number of ships due is expected to be 76, three fewer than last year, with July and August the busiest months, with 22 and 21 calls respectively.

The season gets underway this week with a visit on Friday (14 April) by AIDA Cruises’ vessel, AIDAvita, on a 13-day Nordic Islands & Norway cruise. The last call is due on Wednesday 27 September by Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Jade on a transatlantic 11-day “In the Path of Vikings” cruise, arriving from Southampton, en route to New York, via Reykjavik, Iceland.

There will be maiden calls by nine vessels, including Cruise and Maritime Voyages’ new flagship, Columbus on Sunday 9 July.

Three new records are expected in 2018, with 90 ships currently booked – and more expected; 4,132,710 gross tonnage of shipping; and an estimated almost 96,000 passengers, with the increase influenced by more bookings by larger capacity vessels. There are 10 maiden calls booked to date.

Sandison added: “Continuing growth in the international cruise industry, our record bookings and our positive approach to industry requirements, including expanded infrastructure, all augur well for the port and the Shetland tourism sector in the future.”

British Virgin Islands waives visa requirements for cruise passengers

Persons who previously required a visa to enter the BVI can now benefit from the newly enacted law which allows visa exemptions for cruise ship passengers.

The Cabinet of the British Virgin Islands made a decision on 8th March, 2017 in accordance with section 37 (4) of the Immigration and Passport Act (Cap. 130), to exempt the visa requirements where applicable, for persons arriving to the Territory on a cruise ship and who will remain in the Territory for a period of 24 hours or less.

“The addition of the new Tortola Pier Park cruise and shopping facility has been a game changer for the BVI in the cruise sector catapulting the Territory to the forefront with other regional destinations. As such, in efforts to remain competitive we have to continue to adapt to the changes in the cruise sector to ensure that we continue to meet and exceed the needs of our industry partners. This is why we found it important to provide ease of access to the BVI for cruise passengers, which will assist to increase bookings and in turn encourage more cruise vessels to include the BVI on their cruise itinerary,” said Alfred Henley, Managing Director (Ag) of BVI Ports Authority.

“Recent conversations at the 2017 Seatrade Cruise Global has indicated that this initiative was positively received by the cruise industry,” added Henley.

Tortola Pier Park is a full service facility that offers a variety of shopping and dining experiences via their over Sixty (60) businesses, as well as must have services such as banking, medical, car rentals, tours, internet cafe and business centers.

Adriatic Sea Tourism Report shows mainly healthy trends of business

A preview of some of the data from the Adriatic Sea Tourism Report shows that in 2016 there was a rise in cruise passenger numbers (approx. 5.1 million, +5.5%) and ferry passengers (17.6 million, +3.5%) and a positive situation for turnover in the marinas and charter companies.

The organisation will hold its annual conference in 27 and 28 April.

The number of cruise calls in the Adriatic region rose to more than more than 3,700, an increase of 10.5% on 2015. Last year, Italian ports recorded a figure of 2.3 million passengers (-2.5%) and 843 calls (-1.4%); yet these results have confirmed Italy at the top of the country list, ahead of Croatia and Greece, the organisation said in a statement