Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Mediterraean ports invest in cruises

Written by Nathalie Bureau du Colombier, MARSEILLE on Wednesday, March 27th 2013 à 11:52 | Read 1795 times

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Barcelona, Genoa, Toulon, Marseille…The battle of the cruises is being won on land in the great ports of the Mediterranean that are continuing to develop new platforms and large marine terminals. Today’s investments will make all the difference tomorrow. Panorama of the sites in the Mediterranean.

Graphics of the future cruise terminal in Salerno during construction. Built in the shape of a closed oyster shell, the terminal will be open to the sea.  (Photo Zaha Hadid Architect)
Graphics of the future cruise terminal in Salerno during construction. Built in the shape of a closed oyster shell, the terminal will be open to the sea. (Photo Zaha Hadid Architect)
Millions of euro to attract millions of cruise passengers. The expansion of the cruise market in the Mediterranean is whetting the appetite of cities and their ports.

A real financial windfall for the local economy, the sight of a flotilla of cruise ships lining up in the harbour also makes the city look more attractive.
To encourage companies to lower their gangways, ports are redoubling their efforts, which is what Marseille is doing. France’s first cruise port, with 890,000 passengers in 2012 (up 10%), is planning major investment over the next three years. In order to facilitate access by ships in all weathers, Marseille plans to widen the north channel at a cost of €35 million.

The cruise terminal, Marseille Provence Cruise Center, is also undergoing major expansion with a new ferry terminal on the Léon Gourret Wharf. This terminal, due for commissioning in the summer of 2013, will have the same surface area as the current MPCT: 3000 m² for check-in, 3000 m² for luggage storage. “This terminal, which also has a 10,000 m² car park, will be able to receive six ships simultaneously at the head end “ says Jacques Massoni, Director of MPCT. Marseille is also aiming to become a major repair hub for liners in the Mediterranean just like Palermo and Valletta, with a planned return to service of dry dock No. 10, which is capable of receiving the largest ships currently in service.

Restoration of the waterfront in Genoa

In Genoa, work has begun to restore and redevelop the former grain silo Hennebique and construct a building of 45,000 m² at Ponte Parodi, in order to redevelop the seafront promenade and create a link between the cruise terminal, Stazioni Marittime, and the old port. In 2011, the Port of Genoa invested €13 million in Ponte dei Mille to extend the quay and on dredging works.

The Ligurian port, which welcomed 797,319 cruise passengers in 2012, saw its traffic grow by only 1%. The port for Rome, Civitavecchia, is extremely busy and plans to invest €35 million to expand its cruise terminal.

In Southern Italy, Salerno specifically, the Port Authority plans to build an additional cruise dock to support the development of its client Royal Caribbean, also a shareholder of Salerno Cruises, the managing company for cruise activity. Salerno has also commissioned architect Zaha Hadid to build its future Marine Terminal. 20% extra cruises passengers announced in 2013

New cruise dock and future Marine Terminal in Toulon

Enlargement of the north channel planned for the Port of Marseille (Photo N.B.C)
Enlargement of the north channel planned for the Port of Marseille (Photo N.B.C)
In late 2012 the Port of Toulon revealed its decision to build a new quay in the city centre. 400 metres long with an 11-metre water draft, this new structure will be built by Ports Toulon Provence. The building, which is parallel to Quai Fournel, will be consistent with changes in the cruise market.

With this, Toulon will double its capacity for liners over 280 metres. With 130 stops in 2012, Toulon has experienced a double-digit growth in cruises. Given the increase in numbers, the port has also signed an agreement with the Navy in January 2013 to receive cruise ships in harbour when the wharves are saturated. As it is particularly well sheltered, Toulon Harbour is the refuge port for liners and ferries. Toulon also envisages building a marine terminal for cruises at the port of Brégaillon. The project is only at the design stage.

With over €100 million invested over the last ten years in the five cruise terminals, the Port of Barcelona is considering a break in major development work for the current year.

”Over 80% are private investments from terminal operators: Creuers del Port de Barcelona (Terminals A, B, C and WTC North and South) and Carnival Cruise (Palacruceros) “, says the Port Authority of Barcelona which owns 20% of Port Creuers. ”The remaining 20% are infrastructure developments by APB”, says the Catalan Port which saw a 9.4% drop in numbers with 2.4 million passengers in 2012. 

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