Constanta Hoping for Black Sea Rebound

A look back at better days in the Black Sea

 “Trends in the Black Sea are in constant motion, and Romania, as an EU and NATO member, is a pole of stability in the area,” said Nicolae Dan Tilvilichi, general manager of the Maritime Ports Administration in Constanta, Romania.

Constanta has seen its cruise traffic fall off following geopolitical issues in the region. Four ocean ships called in 2017, but there have been none since. The port does have a number of river calls, averaging around two per month, Tilvilichi said.

“Currently efforts are being made in the Black Sea ports to improve the situation, but the effects will be seen in a year or two,” he added.

“All the Black Sea ports are going through bad times in terms of cruise ships, but even under these circumstances, the port of Constanta has maintained its position as destination number one in the Black Sea.”

When the business returns, the port authority has plans ready to go to expand its passenger terminal, explained Tilvilichi. Other ongoing projects include dredging the navigational channel and turning basin to allow for larger ships, as well as developing a new berth.

Two berths currently server passenger ships, along with one terminal. The berths are 300 and 400 meters long, respectively, with a water depth of 13.5 meters.

The port has not increased its rates in the last 10 years, and is offering various incentives to both river and ocean ships to call.

Hoping to remain top of mind, Constanta was named a member to the board of directors at MedCruise in 2017, a seat that it will hold through 2019.

“In this capacity, for the next three years we have the responsibility to help develop and attract new cruise lines to the Black Sea region,” Tilvilichi continued. “That is why we want to attract new members to the MedCruise group and to persuade the new entrant ports to get involved and give greater importance to the development of cruise tourism in the region.”

An EU-funded project is helping the port drive another modernization platform to reconfigure the port entry area, streamlining road and pedestrian traffic. In addition, an 800,000 euro investment will see a new security building go up at the entrance to the port later this year.

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