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Ports & destinations

Global Ports Holding appoints Colin Murphy Regional Coordinator Americas

Global Ports Holding plc (GPH), the world’s largest independent cruise port operator, is pleased to announce the appointment of Colin Murphy as Regional Coordinator, Americas. Based in South Florida, Colin will work to deliver GPH’s strategy of acquiring cruise ports in the region as the company seeks to expand its existing footprint of 14 ports in eight countries, the Istanbul based company said in a statement.

Colin brings a wealth of cruise industry experience to his new role. He worked for [19 years] at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH). Most recently, he held the role of Senior Vice President, Destination and Strategic Development, during which time he oversaw projects including the development of the award-winning Harvest Caye in Belize and the Bell Street terminal expansion in Seattle. In this role, Colin was also charged with negotiating and managing all of NCLH’s major port agreements, as well as relevant political relationships that impacted the ports’ operations.

Colin’s earlier career in the travel industry entailed working at several major US tour operators, including Collette Vacations, and as an SVP in Product Development role at Vantage Deluxe World Travel in Boston. Further relevant experience includes roles as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Operations Committee at the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association and as a member of CLIA’s Global Ports Committee, GPH said.

Valletta Cruise Port welcomed 700,000th passenger of the year

Valletta Cruise Port, operator of the sea passenger terminals and Valletta Waterfront and a subsidiary of Global Ports Holding, said it has welcomed 700,000 cruise passenger movements so far this year.

A lucky recipient, who arrived in the Port of Valletta aboard the MSC Meraviglia, was selected as the 700,000th passenger and given the opportunity to return to Malta in the near future with a 3-day break in Malta inclusive of flights for two persons, courtesy of the Malta Tourism Authority.

Throughout their respective stay, accommodation will be provided by The Saint John, a boutique hotel, situated in the heart of Valletta. A member of AX Hotels, this property brings to life the history of a 17th century building with an inspirational retro and industrial feel with personalised rooms equipped with the latest technology, raw finish design and awe-inspiring architecture.

The Minister for Tourism, the Hon. Dr Konrad Mizzi said, “Today we have reached a new milestone in the number of cruise liner passenger arrivals. So far this year 700,000 cruise passengers have experienced entering the grand harbour and visited Malta. Government is committed to continue to work with the Valletta Cruise Port to ensure our offering is competitive and that our product continuously improves.”

“This marks a momentous milestone for Valletta Cruise Port, currently celebrating its 15th anniversary, and Malta. Together with local stakeholders we have worked relentlessly towards achieving this target and to ensure its sustainability in the future. The drive for excellence of the Valletta Cruise Port team and other collaborators to always exceed customer expectations is at the core of this success, coupled with the natural beauty of the Valletta Grand Harbour,” commented Stephen Xuereb, CEO of Valletta Cruise Port and COO of Global Ports Holding.

“The 700,000th arrival of cruise passengers is a significant milestone for Malta’s tourism industry; we have today reached a level of cruise traffic that we could only dream about just a few years back.

The cruise industry is an important contributor to the Maltese economy, in particular to the business community in Valletta and the Grand Harbour region. Beyond the injection of income that each cruise ship visit generates, there is also the positive contribution of showcasing some of the highlights of our Islands to day trippers and often also to their social media network.

Apart from the resultant promotion of our Islands, surveys have shown that many cruise passengers are intrigued to return to Malta and Gozo for a longer holiday soon after,” said Carlo Micallef, Chief Marketing Officer of the Malta Tourism Authority.

Valletta Cruise Port plc is anticipating closing the year 2017 with record passenger movements of approximately 780,000, aboard 340 cruise calls, with 2018 expected to be on the same levels.

The cruise industry contributed over €94 million to the local economy in 2016. Central to this growth is the booming reputation of Malta’s award-winning port and the sterling service being provided; as well as a healthy rapport with the cruise lines, which is further being strengthened given that Valletta Cruise Port forms part of the Global Ports Holding family.

Valletta Cruise Port started operating its second regular homeporting operation, with the P&O Oceana, in addition to the weekly homeporting operation by TUI Cruises, which operated for the 7th consecutive season.

Next year will be an important year for Valletta Cruise Port, marked amongst others by the port hosting the MedCruise General Assembly in May.


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.

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.

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.