Tokyo Eyes New Cruise Berth

The Nippon Maru in Tokyo

The Tokyo Port is experiencing steady growth in cruise ships as it is expecting 38 calls in 2018, up from 32 in 2017 and 29 in 2016.

These numbers have grown due to the increase in foreign cruise vessels calling, according to local officials.

To handle the increase in foreign vessels, the Harbor Bureau of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government created a subsidy program in 2012 that includes subsidizing pilotage, towage, and other handling charges.

This is open to all cruise ship operators. While the program has continued each year since 2012 there is no guarantee that the program will be renewed, with 2019 pending at press time (September).

 Most cruise ships dock at the Harumi pier.

The port likes to make a big deal of all ship calls as vessels are met by local fireboats, a musical performance on the dock, and a welcoming ceremony.

Tokyo wants more cruise ships, and is construction a new berth, the Shinkyaku Pier, that will be able to accommodate ships of all sizes. The berth is set to be completed in time for the 2020 Olympics.

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