Friday, September 2, 2022 - 10:33 by ce-press
The Port of Torshavn is investing around DKK500 million (€67.2 million) in developing three further quays and building a passenger terminal.
The project which was nine years in the making - given the planning and required permits - is almost complete with just 70m of quayside still to go. Harbour master Andrias Vang says: “We expect the whole project to be concluded and handed over this autumn.”
The new facility will be able to accommodate both cargo and cruiseships and means that the ships are no longer sharing just one quay. Large cruiseships will now be able to come alongside the existing 300m-long quay, which has a depth of 9m.
Extending the width of this pier, allows for the building of a terminal which will be able to accommodate 800 passengers. This will cater to a regular ferry on the new 300m outer quay (depth 14.5m) and also be accessible from the existing inner quay.
At present passengers are taken by shuttle bus to a ferry terminal elsewhere, but the new terminal means that it will be just a 10-minute walk into the city centre. The authorities will also be housed in the terminal for immigration and passport control.
“We are looking forward to the new terminal which we hope will be ready for the 2024 cruise season. It will be super smooth, back and forth, and when passengers walk out the other side of the building, they will be outside the ISPS area and in the city,” explains Vang.
Waste discharge at the quay is by truck and there is a freshwater pipeline connection already in place. In preparation for onshore power, Vang says that pipes have been built into the new quayside with plans to grow these to the existing (cruise) pier in the future.
He explains: “The cables are not there yet, but we are working with a power supply company in the Faroes about how we can continue. It is in our plans to have shore power available. There is no timeline at present but we are continuously ongoing in the planning phase.”
The two further quays are 175m and 400m in length with a depth of 14.5-15m.
This year 53 calls were booked but 17 have been cancelled so far. Some due to extreme weather and the others it seems were due to cruiseline itinerary plans, which show originally scheduled ships now sailing in different parts of the world. Next year about 50 calls are scheduled.
Geographically the Faroes is between the mainland and Iceland with cruiseships deployed in the region en route to/from Iceland which makes Torshavn a convenient stop. Vang says: “It is a good and safe harbour to arrive into. The tour operators are quite professional and experienced. There are some good and interesting tours in and around Torshavn.”
Vang has been in the position since March and says that cruise is an important part of the port’s business: “We prioritise cruise. We really hope and do our utmost to make the cruiselines feel welcome and offer a facility that is what they need.”
Although the port will now be able to accommodate two large cruiseships, he is aware that there may be limitations. “We cannot fill up the harbour with cruise vessels and expect someone else to take over. We are a small country. So far the tour operators can manage.
“We will continue to use the quayside we have now but we will have more availability. We will now be able to facilitate every vessel going forward. Cruiselines will not see refusals from us because of being congested.”
What is really important to Vang and the port is that: “Going forward it will be a cruise facility. At the moment it is a cargo harbour taking in cruiseships”.