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Ports & destinations

British Isles cruise passenger numbers predicted to grow at record rates

Cruise Britain estimates that cruise passenger numbers to the British Isles in 2018 will continue to show the strongest growth rate of any northern European market segment. With just over quarter of a million individual cruise passengers predicted to make day calls to British Isles ports by the end of the season, the growth rate since 2012 averages a 13.5% annual rise against a northern European average of 3.86%.

The forecast provided by GP Wild (Int) continues to be optimistic with day call cruise passengers potentially reaching 344,000 by 2020. Most of these individual passengers will step ashore at multiple ports and contribute to the tourism economies of many different regions. Strong regional growth can already be seen for several ports including Douglas (Isle of Man), Kirkwall (Orkney), Portland and Tyne.

‘’This strong predicted growth is excellent news for all British ports and service providers and really shows the draw of Britain as a cruise destination, ‘’ commented James Stangroom, Chair of Cruise Britain. ‘’All our members work incredibly hard to attract and support their cruise calls and it’s very encouraging to see our region growing so quickly. Overall, the British Isles offers enormously varied destinations within short sailing distances and the popularity of regional ports is increasing every year. More and more tourists are appreciating that a cruise is an ideal way of exploring the diversity of our shores, cities, attractions and activities.’’

‘’The cruise market is growing at exponential rate at the moment and it is excellent news that the British Isles are predicted to keep pace with this,’’ added Stangroom. ‘’Britain can offer a port for every cruise ship currently sailing and many can handle both day calls and embarkations which increases the opportunity to grow business.’’

Global Ports Holding signs concession agreement with Zadar Gazenica Cruise Port

Global Ports Holding Plc, the world's largest independent cruise port operator,has signed a 20-year concession agreement, between its wholly owned operating subsidiary Zadar International Port Operations d.o.o. and the Port Authority of Zadar for the operating rights of the Gazenica cruise port in Zadar, Croatia. This agreement follows the announcement made by GPH on the 19th March 2018 that the Port Authority of Zadar had issued an award decision to grant a concession to GPH subject to entering a final concession agreement.

Under the terms of the Agreement, GPH will from Q4 2018, use its global expertise and operating model to manage all of the cruise port operations at Gazenica port over the life of the concession. The concession includes cruise ship passenger port and terminal services, an international ferry terminal, Ro-Ro services, vehicles and passenger services. It also contains a commercial area of 2,400sqm, with leasable retail and office space. The cruise ports infrastructure includes a maximum draft of 13m and 1170m of total pier length to accommodate big ships. In 2017, Zadar welcomed 137k cruise passengers, with schedule calls for 2018 suggesting that this will grow to close to 150k passengers for 2018.

Zadar is a historical town on the Adriatic coastline in Croatia, it is well positioned near a number key cruise ports in the region, including Venice and it offers cruise passengers an easily accessible old town with Roman ruins, medieval churches and 16th century fortifications. While the surrounding areas offer a host of sites and activities for cruise passengers who wish to venture further afield.

Gazenica cruise port is the second new cruise port GPH has signed in 2018, increasing the number of ports we operate to 17 ports in 9 countries. The pipeline of new cruise ports remains strong and we will update investors on the pipeline as and when it is appropriate to do so.

Global Ports Holding, CEO Emre Sayin said: "We are delighted to have signed the concession agreement for Zadar Gazenica cruise port and very much look forward to working with our local partners to position Zadar as an important cruise port in the Adriatic, driving an increase in passenger volumes to the port as well as developing the cruise port and wider visitor experience in Zadar to the benefit of cruise passengers, the port authority and the local community."

SATS-Creuers plans Asia's first smart terminal solution at Marina Bay Cruise Centre

SATS-Creuers Cruise Services Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of SATS Ltd, announced today it is building a Smart Terminal Solution for the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore (MBCCS).

The first of its kind in Asia, this smart cruise terminal solution will enhance MBCCS’ responsiveness and elevate passengers’ experience with the use of smart sensors, video analytics and big data managed through a central command-and-control system.
Sensors placed at strategic locations such as check-in terminals and baggage handling area provide real-time monitoring of traffic conditions and passenger flows and detect congestions at these locations. The system will automatically trigger an alert to Terminal Management to enable a swift response to situations.

Better analytics will also enable MBCCS to provide information to the cruise lines and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) to facilitate resource planning and coordination. The better coordination will ensure smoother operations and enhance the efficiency of handling disruptions.

Dubbed “The Caribbean of the East”, the Southeast Asia region is expected to see potentially up to 4.5 million cruise passengers by 2035. In line with the growth of cruise travel in the region, the Singapore cruise industry has also experienced a robust growth in 2017. MBCCS’ Smart Terminal Solution will enhance Singapore’s attractiveness as the homeport for larger cruise ships.

Said Lionel Wong, Chief Executive Officer of MBCCS, “We experienced an increase of 31% ship calls and 51% passengers handled last year. This significant growth in cruise travel is expected to continue. Augmenting our processes with technology will help us manage the increased volume more efficiently and provide a pleasant, seamless travel experience for our passengers.”

Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, welcomed the initiative. He said, “The use of smart sensors and data analytics to enhance operations at Singapore’s ports and cruise terminal facilities will not only contribute to better operational efficiencies but also enhance the level of security.”

SATS-Creuers has appointed NCS Communications Engineering Pte Ltd to support them in the implementation of the smart terminal solution.

Maiden cruise ship call at the Port of Kapellskär

More and more cruise passengers are travelling via Ports of Stockholm, and the Port of Kapellskär today trialled for international cruise call. The ship calling today at Kapellskär was MSC Meraviglia, which is currently the fifth largest cruise vessel in the world.

“Stockholm is a very popular cruise destination and is attracting increasing numbers of passengers. Now we may try a cruise call at the Port of Kapellskär for the first time, with the potential arrival of the MSC Meraviglia at the port,” said Stefan Scheja, Cruise and Ferry Manager at Ports of Stockholm prior today's call.

The MSC Meraviglia is 316 metres in length and can accommodate 5,700 people. Arriving from Oslo, the MSC Meraviglia departed the same evening, at 7 pm, to sail onwards to Tallinn.

During the 2018 cruise season, which runs from April to October, 276 cruise ships have been booked to call at a Ports of Stockholm port. It is anticipated that around 650,000 passengers will visit the Stockholm region, with a lay-over call for the majority of vessels in Stockholm. However, 34 of the cruise ships will call at the Port of Nynäshamn.

The Port of Kapellskär is Ports of Stockholm’s northernmost port, with freight and passenger ferry services to and from the Åland Islands, Finland and Estonia. Annually around one million ferry passengers travel via the Port of Kapellskär.

Disney Cruise Line returns to Tortola Pier Park

The British Virgin Islands smiled as the Disney Fantasy was seen just beyond the horizon on Tuesday, 28th August, 2018, bringing great excitement to residents and business owners alike, who gleefully welcomed the ship back to the BVI for the first time since the 2017 hurricanes.

Disney passengers were greeted with the melodic sounds of steel pans and the smiling faces of customer service representatives as they disembarked the ship and meandered onto the cruise and shopping facility. As a part of their welcome, Disney Fantasy guests were provided welcome drinks, were entertained with a small parade that showcased BVI culture and enjoyed interacting with store owners as they showcased their products. Throughout the day, Tortola Pier Park buzzed with passengers as some queued to go on their tours, while others happily shopped in the cruise facility as well as ventured into the city.

“We were so happy to see Disney Fantasy berthed at our pier once again and their over 3,600 passengers and 1,531 crew members on ground enjoying our cruise and shopping facility and the destination. Our partner cruise lines and Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) has worked tirelessly with us over the past months ensuring the quick recovery of our islands and Disney Fantasy being back here is yet another showing of their commitment to the BVI and our cruise product,” said Vance Lewis, Interim CEO of Tortola Pier Park.

“We welcome Disney back with open arms and look forward to the full return of all the cruise lines to our beautiful shores,” added Mr. Lewis.

Upon experiencing the destination, many cruise passengers provided great positive feedback and expressed their delight in being in the Territory and their love for the BVI’s unspoiled assets which showcases crystal blue seas and picturesque scenery.

Fifty four (54) stores stood open at Tortola Pier Park for Disney’s return offering a large selection of shopping options to their guests. These stores included Diamonds International, Little Switzerland and Del Sol/Cariloha as well as a variety of other stores providing unique offerings in clothing and accessories, electronics, food and beverage, health and wellness, banking, liquor, hair and makeup, jewelry and watches and car rentals. With 75% of the stores now open, the Management and tenants of Tortola Pier Park continues to work together to attain a 100% operational status by the end of the year.

After receiving a direct hit from one of the strongest and most catastrophic hurricanes to ever formed in the Atlantic basin, the Government and the people of the British Virgin Islands began to pick up the pieces and rebuild their homes and businesses. In just under a year post the hurricanes, major progress has been seen in the restoration of the BVI, as the community continues to rebuild with positive spirits, determination and a great deal of hard work.