The first phase of the new Passenger Terminal and its South berth are ready now. Last Sunday, 23rd of December, the inauguration of both projects was held in the Port of Málaga. This fact is very important for the development of the cruise traffic in the city. The event was attended by the President of the Regional Government of Andalucia, Mr. Manuel Chaves, and the Minister of Public Works of the Central Government, Ms. Magdalena Álvarez.
The inauguration arrives in the best moment, because the cruise industry is undergoing a worldwide change: currently, the shipping lines are locating their cruise ships in Mediterranean, North of Europe and European Atlantic coasts.
The South berth is an important element in the operation of the new Terminal, after the end of a work characterized by its great technical complexity.
The promoter SANDO has made the construction of the new berth, which has 12 metres of draught and an investment of 11,2 million euros.
The construction of the first phase of the new Passenger Terminal was awarded to NECSO company by public tender last 29th of November 2005. Architects José Manuel Barrio Losada and Miguel Valverde signed the project, based in a previous work made by Bermello, Ajamil and Partners, renowned specialists in this kind of infrastructure. The project had an investment of 15,7 millions of euros.
The construction of the new Passenger Terminal is based on the current architectonic parameters: the simplicity in its structure to facilitate operations inside the building. The new Passenger Terminal responds to basic necessities arising from the embarking and disembarking of the greatest cruise ships.
The first phase of the new Passenger Terminal have a total area of 8,970 sqm. Lobbies, luggages and handling departments, operator offices, controls, dressing room and toilets are distributed in that space.
“Cruceros Málaga S.A.” is the society which will administer the new Passenger Terminal. The society was created after the agreement signed last August between the Port of Malaga and Creuers del Port de Barcelona. Creuers is specialist in this kind of activity in our country and in the Mediterranean. The company bets firmly for the Port of Malaga since this is the first time that it is investing outside Barcelona.
The European Union has collaborated in this Project in an important way. Through the FEDER funds, the construction of the North and South berths and the passenger building have been cofinanced by the EU.
Meetings with the shipping lines
The most important shipping lines in the sector have been interested in the new Passenger Terminal. It has been shown in the current visits to the Port of Málaga of the Operations Director of MSC Cruises, Mr. Luigi Pasterna and the vice-president of shore operations of Princess Cruises, Mr. Bruce Krumrine, both held last October.
Both representatives were very excited about the construction of the Terminal and the possibilities that this offers for the future berths of their big cruise ships, showing the intention to include the Port of Malaga in their itineraries.
The attendance to the most important events of the sector (Seatrade Europe, Fitur, Seatrade Miami) has consolidated the presence of the Port of Malaga in the national and international field. It is considerated one of the most favourite ports in our country.
The new Passenger Terminal will help improve the quality of the port service and consolidate the origin and destination traffic to facilitate the use of the Port of Malaga as a cruise home port.
Cruise traffic 2007
During 2007, a total of 238 cruises will arrive to the port, which shows the increase of this kind of traffic in the Port of Malaga compared to last year. Last November, 39 cruise ships arrived to the city, being the month with more cruise ships. On the other hand, December shows the most important evolution compared to last year, because of the big increase in the number of cruise ships arrived to the port: a total of 25, being 11 in 2006.
Without any doubt, the record of cruise ships arrived in Malaga Port was last 15th of May, because 6 cruise ships with 9,000 passengers were received. This fact could be seen in the streets of the city as well as in the shops and restaurants of the city centre.
The number of passengers between January and November of 2007 are 253,774, an increase of 25% in the figures of passengers, compared to last year. Moreover, the forecast for December is very positive, because the number of passengers by the end of the year could be of 285,000. This fact would mean an increase of 27% compared to 2006.
On the other hand, the role of the Port of Málaga as a home port is very important, because this year the number of this kind of calls has been doubled. Until November, 10,563 tourists started or finished their cruise in the city, while in 2006, a total of 4,113 tourists did so. Moreover, some of the most important shipping lines have come to the port for the first time: a total of 14 new vessels arrived in the port in 2006.
Definitely, cruise traffic has improved so much in the Port of Malaga, with figures keeping its increase during next year. The first phase of the new Passenger Terminal and its South berth will permit the arrival of a good number of cruise ships with great sizes.