Click here to find the News from our members
Kronberg Castle reopened and Elsinore port modernised · 05. Jun 2013
For the past five years, contractors and craftsmen have been working to strengthen Krongborg Castle’s ramparts at a cost of some Dkk300m (E40.3m). It was reopened on May 25.
The restored ramparts and a modernisation of Helsingor harbour have been undertaken under the overall title of Culture Harbour Kronborg (Port of Elsinore).
The project has included a modernisation of the port of Elsinore, which has been furnished with a new quay (Kings Quay), new paving, a flight of seating stairs facing the water and an extensive open wharf area. Culture Harbour Kronborg is the region’s new cultural powerhouse with ample space for events such as concerts, open-air theatre productions, markets, festivals and sporting events.
The modernised harbour is able to accommodate cruiseships up to 150m long with a maximum draught of 6.5m. Larger ships can anchor within 10 minutes of the breakwater.
The restoration has strengthened Kronborg’s position as a Unesco World Heritage site. It has created a more visible Kronborg with, among other improvements, the excavation of the old moat and the restoration of the historical defences in the form of a ravelin in the harbour and the glacis to the west of the castle.
Isle of Man's TT races, an event worth calling for · 04. Jun 2013
Notwithstanding that the Isle of Man - as an offshore finance centre - has a bustling business sector, nevertheless the island for fifty weeks every year is a relatively quiet, calm and tranquil part of the planet.
However for the other two weeks of the annual calendar this island in the middle of the Irish Sea is transformed into an unbelievable and frenetically charged destination. It is also known as the ‘motorcycling capital of the world’.
“The island for a fortnight in May/June is exciting and charismatic even if you aren't particularly interested in motorcycles. Accordingly it is no surprise that during the TT fortnight the island will be welcoming six cruise calls....not exactly in Monaco's league but we are getting there,” said Terry Toohey, cruise consultant to Isle of Man Department of Economic Development.
“Shore excursion companies correctly ask if cruise visits are feasible during this period, bearing in mind that the Tourist Trophy Races are run on a 37.75 mile public roads circuit.
“The answer is a very definite 'yes' bearing in mind the circuit is contained to the north of the island, and for those not keen to watch the racing, the south of the island incorporates our renowned Steam Railway, Castletown's Castle Rushen, the Calf of Man and Creg Neish a crofters and farming community where time has stood still.”
The 2013 Isle of Man cruise season has attracted 18 cruise calls. The highest figure to date. All the passengers will be enthusiastically greeted by newly-established volunteers, the ‘Cruise Welcomers’.
“In future years the presence of an ‘Accommodation Cruise Vessel’ during the TT period has to be a prospect to be considered,” commented Toohey. About 42,000 visitors come for the TT, the population is 84,000.
Trondheim offers new tour · 04. Jun 2013
Passengers can now explore the city of Trondheim from the waterside on a new harbour sightseeing trip.
This 90-minute boat trip starts near the cruise quay allowing visitors to see various landmarks of Trondheim by the river Nidelven and in the harbour area.
Among the highlights are the famous Nidaros Cathedral, charming wooden houses at Bakklandet, the old wharves and the Old Town bridge. With the city being surrounded by water, this is a unique way to explore Trondheim while a guide talks about the history and development of the city.
Harbor sightseeing can be combined with a visit to the famous Monks Island, if desired. This sightseeing tour is available from April to October.
Malmo works together to bring in Pullmantur and open a new terminal · 03. Jun 2013
Malmo's new cruiseship terminal in Frihamnen was inaugurated on May 11 as Pullmantur’s Empress docked in the city for the first time.
"This is an important and long-awaited step towards making Malmo an established cruise destination. Through this development we have created additional space for the jumbo cruiseships in Copenhagen," said Johan Rostin, CEP for Copenhagen Malmo Port (CMP), which is anticipating more small and mid-sized cruise traffic in the long term.
CMP, Malmo Airport and Pullman Tours have been collaborating closely for a long time to create a good cruise product, where the transfer between aircraft and ship have been in focus.
"Together we have created an attractive offer which is comfortable for the passengers. This was what tipped the balance for Pullman Tours to finally choose Malmo," explained Peter Weinhandl, airport director at Malmö Airport.
The contract runs to the end of 2015.
The new cruise terminal is converted wharf storehouse M 16. Recently a new cycle track and walkway was completed from Frihamnen to Malmo city.
About 1,800 Spanish passengers arrived to join the ship via Malmo Airport. A similar number of travellers disembarked from their cruise on the same day, returning to Madrid and Barcelona on Pullman Tours' flights.
Generating 35,000 passengers each season means the extra jobs such as guides, coach drivers, check-in personnel, welcoming personnel and baggage handling.
"This is without doubt one of the most positive things to have happened to tourism in Malmo. The cruise traffic strengthens the tourism industry in the form of jobs and tourism-related income, and the city as an international attraction. Through the onshore tour programme that the travellers can avail themselves of, other parts of the Oresund region have the opportunity to create an image for themselves," said Johan Hermansson, director of tourism.
Norwegian Breakaway begins maiden voyage in Rotterdam · 03. Jun 2013
Norwegian Cruise Line's newbuilding Norwegian Breakaway set sail on her maiden voyage from Rotterdam on April 28. She was bound for New York following a roundtrip to Southampton from the Dutch port.
In early September the port is holding the 36th World Port Days. The initiator and main sponsor of the three-day event is the Port of Rotterdam. Activities include ship tours, adventurous excursions and spectacular shows on the water.
Holland America Line’s Rotterdam will be involved in some of the festivities on September 7. The WPDs are dedicated to bringing the city, port and the people even closer together.
This year the theme is ‘From the Wolga to the Maas’, to emphasise the relationship with Russia. Rotterdam is home to a bronze statue of Tsar Peter the Great made by Russian sculptor Leonid Baranov.
It was a gift from the Russian Federation to Rotterdam celebrating Tsar Peter the Great’s year (1996-1997). The statue was unveiled by chairman of the Russian Federation’s government ZE Viktor S Chernomyrdin in October 1997.
The statue, in the Veerhaven district, was presented to the Netherlands as a token of appreciation for the 300 years of relations between both countries.
Haugesund inaugurates terminal with first call in years · 03. Jun 2013
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines' 1,350-guest Balmoral made her inaugural call at Haugesund on May 28 as part of a 10-night 'Norwegian Experience' itinerary. Haugesund celebrated its first calls since 2008 (Black Watch) as well as the opening of its new cruise terminal with the arrival of FOCL’s flagship. Passengers were met by Vikings and a jazz band.
En route to Haugesund, Balmoral also celebrated Norway's 'National Day' with an overnight call in Oslo on May 17, so that passengers could share in the city's annual festivities.
Martin Lister, itinerary planning manager for FOCL, said: “With our strong Norwegian background, it is always a pleasure to plan a cruise to our historical homeland. This call at Haugesund is particularly special, as it is Balmoral’s first, and we know that our guests are always looking for new experiences and destinations.”
FOCL was established in the small Norwegian town of Hvitsten in 1848 by the three Olsen brothers, Fredrik Christian, Petter and Andreas.
Lister added: “We would like to thank the town and people of Haugesund for the support that they have shown to Fred Olsen, and we very much appreciate the warm and enthusiastic welcome that they have given our guests.” Passengers visited the city centre and took tours visiting the Arquebus War History Museum, Nordvegen History Centre, Skudeneshavn, Haraldshaugen and Steinsfjellet amongst other attractions.
Our Savior’s Church opened early reporting 450 visitors and some of the stores opened early with some doubling sales in a day. A shanty choir was invited onboard by the crew to sing in the theatre who had heard them at the officiation of the maiden visit in the City Hall.
Vigleik Dueland, director of cruise development Port of Haugesund, said: “Haugesund is an attractive cruise port, due to its very good access from the North Sea and the short pilotage required. It is only 5nm to go ashore. With three big cruise brands close to us – Stavanger, Hardangerfjord and Bergen – cruise visitors can see a lot of the south-western part of Norway in a short time.”
According to findings by the Passenger Shipping Association in 2012, Britons have developed a growing taste for the Norwegian fjords and Norway, which saw nearly 200,000 British cruise passengers visiting the region last year, accounting for 44.5% of UK cruise bookings to Northern European destinations.
Ulvik Hardangerfjord opened Economusee in May · 03. Jun 2013
This May Syse Farm in Ulvik officially became one of Norway’s seven Economusee Northern Europe.
The farm is an artisan food product operation which has been selected because of its commitment to quality and authenticity. The
owner makes a living by supplying contemporary products created according to traditional methods and techniques, as well as by offering visitors a high quality cultural tourism experience.
With members in Quebec and other Canadian provinces as well as several Northern European countries, the Economusee network is made up of artisan businesses that are interested in conserving skills to future generations.
Syse Farm is included in shore excursions from cruiseships visiting Eidfjord and Ulvik in Hardangerfjord. They have been growing fruit for five generations, mostly apples, but also pears, plums and morello cherries. They also make and sell fruit products in glass jars.They also keep sheep and have a long tradition of meat production.
Alesund captain brings Independence home · 03. Jun 2013
Captain Arnolf Remo brought Royal Caribbean International’s Independence of the Seas to his home town of Alesund on May 23. It was the first of two calls this year and the first time the vessel has called the Norwegian port.
Fifteen years ago he and his brother in law visited Bente Saxon in the Visit Alesund offices and suggested that something should be done about bringing cruiseships to the port. In 2000 she visited Miami for the first time and has been every year since.
In 2004 Alesund began seeing results as Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 called on a maiden visit. “She has been every year since except for one when she was not in the region,” explained Saxon.
It took longer to persuade Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd to come in but now they are the biggest customer with 16 calls booked this year from both Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises.
CEC highlights the opportunities and challenges ahead · 09. May 2013
The Cruise Europe Conference in Le Havre provided the venue for member ports, speakers and press to discuss the future of the region as the European source market continues to grow and the ECA 2015 sulphur limit of 0.1% looms.
Captain Michael McCarthy, chairman Cruise Europe, opened the conference on the topic of the ECA and its impact on ports but said: “I feel that the EU may have to delay beyond 2015 as they cannot stop ships sailing. Europe imports gas oil. I think there will be a huge shortfall.”
Delegates heard how itinerary planning has become a science of balancing port costs with shore excursion revenue. Fuel costs and regulations are also part of the mix.
Simon Douwes, director deployment & itinerary planning Holland America Line (HAL), explained: “We are totally committed to the European market and ports. We now have ships almost entirely filled with Europeans. It is very successful and growing rapidly.” Indeed the line is sailing year-round ex Rotterdam with a round-trip to Indonesia during the winter. When HAL adds another ship to the fleet in 2016, he said there is “a good chance that we will increase capacity in Europe”.
Having said that it is by no means ‘all roses’ and fuel prices, even before the ECA effect, are certainly impacting itineraries as slower speeding means less fuel consumption. HAL has embarked on some open-jaw itineraries this year which “save quite an enormous amount of distance and fuel”, speed being decreased by 2 knots. This saves “millions and millions of dollars of fuel”.
The Emissions Control Area (ECA) is also having an effect with HAL sailing its Baltic itinerary from Copenhagen instead of Amsterdam next year and hence sailing 1,050nm less every 12 days. As another example, just moving a ship from Amsterdam to IJmuiden takes six hours out of any itinerary.
Port costs have become a major deciding factor in itinerary planning. Douwes commented: “There are North European ports that have lost calls due to unsustainable costs, for example Norway has more calls and Scotland has less due to high costs. The shorex revenue in general is very good but in some ports the shorex revenue is lower than port costs so it costs us to go to these ports.”
However he said: “Europe will remain important as a destination and source market. The ECA will not result in a decrease of calls in the region. There will be deployment changes. Some ports will lose and others will gain calls.”
The longer a ship is in port the more it costs in fuel due to having to speed to the next port so port calls are based on the time taken to deliver a good shore excursion which is not less than six hours according to Douwes. “The optimum time to stay in port is the amount of time it takes to run a profitable shorex.”
Steven Young, head of port operations and services Carnival UK, agreed that itinerary planning is “now very much part of a carefully crafted plan” and advised ports not to over-invest in terminal infrastructure. He said: “Cut your cloth according to our needs. There are only a few ports that are going to be homeports. Tents are functional and efficient [for certain uses].” He added that any investment in infrastructure should not rely on the cruise business alone.
Luis de Carvalho chief executive officer Consult DK, who is involved in port development along with Bermello Ajamil & Partners (for example Cape Verde, Skagen and San Francisco), concurred that a multiuse facility can be a wise move. He added that when developing port facilities, doing homework is vital. Ports should consider, for example, the strategy, the finances (multiuse), the functionality (involving the city and stakeholders from the start), and the balance between urban and maritime development.
He also pointed out the vital importance of the cruiselines, the stakeholders, the city and port working together from the very beginning. Adding that if the port and city don’t work together the result can cause congestion, queues, traffic etc.
Peter Wild of GP Wild (International) put some numbers to the source market with Europe showing 6.2m of the 20.6m worldwide total in 2012, saying that the European position could be 8m or even 12m by 2020. He added that there were some 14m passenger nights on 108 ships in Northern Europe scheduled this year.
Captain Luigi Pastena, port operations MSC Cruises, said that MSC makes 467 calls in Cruise Europe ports in a year bringing 1.4m passengers on 603 operating days. He estimates port costs at E18.5m of which 63% were port charges.
Kay-Uwe Maross, senior manager port operations and itinerary planning AIDA Cruises, pointed out that the port is a technical facility which connects the sea and the land. He said: “The challenge for the port is to combine both and become a destination.” He called for a standardisation of fee structures, for ports to be free of non-contracted tour operators and says it is very important to allow and support competition of port-related services to avoid monopoly situations.
Looking ahead Young mentioned possibilities including online checkin where passengers could go straight to their cabins, streamlined luggage services and improved passenger security flows and the possibility of arrival time slots.
Approaching from a different angle was Brian Powell, associate vice president customer insight & market planning Celebrity Cruises, who is keen for the destinations to ‘tell the story’ of what they have to offer. “We want to solicit the destination to help in telling what it has to offer, to bring it closer to home and show how it touches people in a certain way”. He said: “We have to make things a little bit sexier. People don’t have time to look at it [lots of information]. You have to grab them fast and hook them fast,” advising: “You should have an elevator speech”, ie in less than three minutes explain why anyone should visit your destination.
Ton van Breeman, manager environmental affairs Port of Amsterdam, presented a paper on cold ironing/onshore power supply and said that the Port of Amsterdam wants to set up a European project to discuss the challenges. The idea is to work with maybe five ports and three shipowners directly with Cruise Europe possibly providing the platform.
Le Havre provides the perfect backdrop to CEC 2013 · 08. May 2013
This year’s Cruise Europe Conference (CEC) was held in member port Le Havre at the end of April. This Unesco World Heritage city has made huge inroads into the cruise industry since building a strategy for growth in 2008 which included building new facilities, organising turnaround capability, creating a trademark ‘gateway to Paris’ and joining networks such as Cruise Europe.
Valerie Conan, cruise director Le Havre Tourism Office, explained the importance of joining port associations: “Thanks to those networks we have given awareness of Le Havre to the cruiselines.”
This year the port has 125 calls and 240,000 passengers compared with 108 and 202,000 passengers in 2012. In 2008 there were only 78,000 passengers visiting showing a more than 160% increase in just five years.
Attention to detail is key. Shuttle buses have been organised, shop owners have been encouraged to open at lunchtimes and on Sundays. English language courses are being organised for guides.
Earlier this year the Le Havre Cruise Club was officially launched with all participants in local tourism encouraged to join to enhance the welcome given to cruiseships. Deputy mayor Agnes Firmin Le Bodo who is president of the club said: “Le Havre picked up the challenge and is keeping up with the trend of growth in the industry. Only institutions that can keep step with the growth will stand the test of time. We need to think about how we fund and welcome bigger ships and more passengers to our port.”
While acknowledging the importance of having Paris nearby, Le Havre is keen to promote what it has locally and indeed nearly 50% of passengers do visit the local environs. CEC delegates and speakers were given a sneak preview of the Pissarro exhibition at the fine arts museum (MuMa), the second largest in France. A new app, Le Havre Impressionist and Fauvist, has just been launched giving passengers the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Monet, Pissarro, Boudin, Dufy, Friesz and Marquet and to discover the places that inspired them.
The conference coincided with the traditional plaque exchange on the maiden call of MSC Musica to the French city. The company has 14 calls booked this year, eight of which are interporting on MSC Opera.
Michael McCarthy, chairman Cruise Europe, gave thanks to Le Havre and Valerie Conan particularly for all the hard work put into hosting a seamless 22nd AGM. He commented: “As the cruise business grows Le Havre is very well positioned to capitalise on this exciting new business opportunity. The growth in your cruise vessel calls is testament to the appeal the region has for cruise lines and the passengers.”
While Simon Douwes, director deployment & itinerary planning Holland America Line, said that the opportunity to actually visit a port is invaluable. “There is nothing like visiting somewhere to bring it alive and find out whether it is somewhere our passengers would like to visit and I think that they would like it [Le Havre] very much.”