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New Facilities Highlight Asia-Pacific

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Costa Classica in ShanghaiHong Kong is building a new cruise terminal at Kai Tak, which will have two berths – with the first berth slated to be ready in 2013 and the second in 2014. According to a port spokesperson, the new facility will have a total dock length of 850 meters and be able to handle ships up to 220,000 tons, that is, the Oasis class.

Earlier this year, the government awarded the operating contract to Worldwide Cruise Terminals, a joint venture of Worldwide Flight Services, Royal Caribbean Cruises and Neo Crown.

The water depth is 12 meters which will be dredged to 13 meters, and there are no air draft restrictions.

Support services, including customs, immigration and what the port calls “health, quarantine operations,” will be able to process 3,000 passengers an hour.

Reporting a total of 2,021 ship calls in 2011, most of those were one-night cruises, while 104 cruise calls were counted, including cruises originating in Hong Kong and in transit.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board said it plans to step up is cruise tourism promotion in the coming months to further built up cruise demand.

Shanghai, which expects six ships to be homported in 2013, has two cruise port facilities, including the new Wusongkou terminal that launched operations in 2011. It can accommodate a 100,000-ton and a 200,000-ton ship simultaneously with an annual passenger handling capacity of 608,000. In addition is centrally-located Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal with four berths, which started homeport operations in 2006 after a RMB 1 billion investment. It can accommodate ships up to 70,000 tons and has an annual passenger capability of 1 million, according to a port spokesperson.

Nearby is an automotive terminal that doubles as back-up for cruise ships.

 In 2011, there were a total of 66 homeported cruises out of Shanghai with 128,900 passengers as well as 29 calls by visiting ships with 62,600 passengers

For 2012, the forecast by year’s end is for 83 homeported cruises and 41 calls with a total of 300,000 passengers.

 The spokesperson said that for three homeported ships did very well during the first half of the year. The 1,928-passengers Costa Victoria averaged 1,905 passengers for a load factor of 98 percent; the 3,114-passenger Voyager of the Seas averaged 3,494 passengers for a load factor of 112 percent; and the 1,800-passenger Legend of the Seas averaged 1,680 passengers and a load factor of 93 percent.

The cruise season runs from March to October.  Not only does down-time have a significant effect on terminal profitability, but the smaller terminal also suffers from height restrictions caused by a bridge and competition for the newer Wusongkou terminal. But because of its location vis-à-vis the center of Shanghai, the terminal is being used for special events, supplementing its revenue flow.

See the full Asian market report in Cruise Industry News' special Asia issue for the Cruise Shipping Asia-Pacific conference in Singapore Sept. 17 to 18.

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