PortMiami Set to Continue Record-Shattering Growth Pace

Discussions are underway for another terminal for Norwegian Cruise Line.
Norwegian Getaway turning in Miami port.

“We do have space. I want that to be very clear, that we have space for growth here at PortMiami,” said Juan Kuryla, port director. “We are growing and need to continue investing.”

Miami is coming off a record year, with 5.3 million cruise passengers, and a similar, slightly better year is expected in 2017-2018. After that, Kuryla is forecasting a continued pattern of record-breaking cruise traffic.

Going from 4.9 million to 5.3 million passengers in a year, the most ever recorded anywhere; Kuryla is juggling multiple projects for a 20 percent bump up in 2019, and even more growth behind that.

“We will likely be at 6.4 million passengers,” he added.

Multiple Projects

The biggest bump up in numbers last year came from Royal Caribbean, with 350,000 more passengers. That figure will grow exponentially when the company opens Terminal A for its Oasis-class ships come 2018.

Talking to Cruise Industry News on a November Monday, there were a staggering seven cruise vessels docked and Kuryla was weeks away from the grand opening of Terminal F, a new facility developed for MSC Cruises and the MSC Seaside.

That terminal is only the beginning, as MSC has bigger plans, including the deployment of the Meraviglia in the Caribbean, sailing from Miami alongside the Seaside in summer 2019.

Discussions are ongoing with Virgin and Norwegian for new terminals.

“Both would be additional to the terminals we have,” Kuryla said. “We are taking some land on the north side from the cargo operations to create a footprint for additional terminals.”

Not to be overlooked, Carnival Cruise Line has been the port’s largest customer dating back to the 1970s and accounted for more than 2 million passenger movements last year. This year the new Carnival Horizon will homeport in Miami after a brief summer in New York.

“We are also in discussions with them on how to work together to accommodate further growth,” explained Kuryla.

‘Total Commitment’

He attributed the growth to a total commitment to the cruise industry not only by the port but by the willingness of elected officials to accept the port’s and cruise line’s recommendations on investments.

New terminal projects must consider not only the space for the terminal, but land infrastructure ranging from parking to utilities, apron needs, traffic patterns and more, Kuryla said.

“The speed at which we need to grow to accommodate new ships is unprecedented,” he continued, “and we are moving quickly.”

Various studies have been conducted on LNG, and the port is moving toward a solution regarding whether bunkering would be a land or water-side operation. Kuryla said he expects Miami to receive its first LNG-powered ship in 2022.

Piraeus Port to invest €294 million to upgrade cruise facilities

Piraeus Port to invest €294 million to upgrade cruise facilities

Piraeus Port Authority aims to grow its homeporting business by expanding its facilities (Image: Piraeus Port Authority)

Piraeus Port Authority is to invest €294 million over a five-year period to upgrade its existing cruise infrastructure and boost its appeal to operators sailing in the East Mediterranean.

Currently, Piraeus can berth between nine and eleven cruise ships simultaneously, using a total of 2.8 kilometres of quay. PPA’s expansion plans include adding four new 400-metre cruises berths, adding a total of 1.65 kilometres of quay length and boosting the port’s capacity by roughly 50%.

Other plans include building hotels, shopping malls, restaurants and other auxiliary services to enable Piraeus to become a homeport.

“The planned infrastructure improvements will benefit the cruise sector overall by providing best-in-class customer service experience to the operators of the cruise ships as well as by enhancing the overall experience of their guests,” said Theodora Riga, PPA’s manager of strategic planning and marketing. “New value-added services for the cruise lines and passengers are at the core of PPA’s vision to promote overall product awareness in the Chinese market, and act as a facilitator to capture higher volumes of tourists from the Far East.”

MSC Cruises Plans to Build World’s Largest LNG-Powered Cruise Ships for $4.5 Billion

Laurent Castaing (R), President of French shipyard STX France, shakes hands with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) Chairman Gianluigi Aponte (L) as French President Francois Hollande (C) looks on after signing a letter of intention for the order of four more ships from STX France in a 3.6 billion euro ($4.1 billion) investment, during a ceremony at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, April 6, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
Laurent Castaing (R), President of French shipyard STX France, shakes hands with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) Chairman Gianluigi Aponte (L) as French President Francois Hollande (C) looks on after signing a letter of intention for the order of four more ships from STX France, April 6, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Swiss-based MSC Cruises has revealed major plans to build up to four new LNG-powered cruise ships exceeding more than 200,000 gross tons.

The announcement was made as the company, the largest privately-owned cruise line in the world, signed a letter of intent (LOI) for the construction of the ships with STX France at the company’s shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.

The four ships provided under the LOI include two firm orders and two options with delivery planned in 2022, 2024, 2025 and 2026. MSC Cruises confirmed that the new order would represent a nearly $4.5 billion investment, which would bring the company’s 10-year investment plan to an “unprecedented” $10.2 billion and eleven next-generation newbuilds by 2026.

The vessel’s, to be known as the “World Class”, will be based on a new next-generation LNG-powered prototype featuring a GRT in excess of 200,000 tonnes, more than 2,700 staterooms and approximately 5,400 lower berths occupancy, making them the biggest LNG-powered cruise ships planned to date and the most environmentally friendly.

A ceremony for the signing of the letter of intent was held at the Élysée Palace in France and attended by French President Francois Hollande François Hollande, as well as MSC Group’s Founder and Executive Chairman, Gianluigi Aponte, and STX France’s CEO Laurent Castaing.

“Today’s announcement is further proof, if needed, of our view that this industry presents significant opportunities for additional growth going forward for both our brand and product, as well as of our firm commitment to be best-positioned to capture them to the fullest,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman. “For this reason, our ten-plus year investment plan now encompasses up to eleven new MSC Cruises ships, coming into service between 2017 and 2026. It is also a reflection of our constant commitment to innovation, as we will partner with STX France to design yet again a completely new prototype – already the sixth in our history.”

Including the four ships announced Wednesday, a total of 20 ships will have been designed and built by STX France in Saint-Nazaire for MSC Cruises.

MSC Splendida (Fantasia Class)

“We have just signed an unprecedented agreement with MSC Cruises which will give us a vision of our industrial capacity for the next ten years! We have had a good relationship with MSC Cruises for many years now, and this new agreement strengthens this further,” commented Laurent Castaing, STX Frances Chief Executive Officer. “We have already designed four different classes for MSC Cruises – Lirica, Musica, Fantasia and Meraviglia – each with four ships, and now we are working together on this new generation of “World Class” ships.”

MSC Cruises informs that in addition to the four ships just ordered, its current investment plan includes orders with STX France for two Meraviglia and two further Meraviglia-Plus Class ships as well as orders with Fincantieri in Italy for up to three next-generation Seaside Class ships. The plan also includes the $227 million Renaissance Program, in which four ships out of 12 of the company’s fleet were enhanced and enlarged at the Fincantieri shipyards.

MSC Cruises’ announcement follows some big cruise industry news over the weekend as Carnival Corp. finalized its contracts with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to build five new cruise ships costing more than $3.4 billion. Delivery of those ships are scheduled for 2019 and 2020.

In June 2015, Carnival became the first to order ocean-going cruise ships powered by liquefied natural gas, the world’s cleanest fossil fuel, with its order for four ships. Those ships will be built by Meyer Werft and split between their yards in Papenburg, Germany and Turku, Finland. Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company, currently has a total of 16 new ships scheduled to be delivered across several of its portfolio of brands between 2016 and 2020.