Venezia Terminal Passeggeri shall attend Seatrade Cruise Global, at Fort Lauderdale (Florida), 14-17 March 2016. VTP has been promoting and developing the passenger business of the Port of Venice since 1997. At Seatrade Cruise Global − a key world event for cruise shipping – cruise lines, suppliers, sector operators, travel agents and partners shall receive information on the latest developments for the upcoming cruises season at Venice’s port.
According to bookings received by February, the forecast for 2016 indicate traffic for the current season at 1,550,000 passengers, with 529 landings in all. There are 38 scheduled companies for 70 positioned units. The following ships, Aida Cruises’ AIDAbella, Crystal Yacht Cruise’s Crystal Esprit, Holland America Line’s Eurodam, Royal Caribbean International’s Rhapsody of the Seas, Oceania Cruises’ Sirena and Viking Ocean Cruises’ Viking Sea, shall visit the lagoon port for the first time.
“Bearing in mind the noted developments surrounding tonnage restrictions, the Port of Venice has basically maintained its position. It remains the first cruise homeport in the Mediterranean,” claimsSandro Trevisanato, Chairman of Venezia Terminal Passeggeri S.p.A. “The activities had to be reorganised, with enhancement of the infrastructures (increase in the number of terminal buildings) and of wharf efficiency. Since the number of ships increased and the number of passengers decreased, we implemented a revision of the procedures. While we await the end of the impassebrought about by arbitrary application of a criterion lack of justifications and merely regarding visual impacts, for 2016, too, the traffic should be as for 2015. However, at the very earliest opportunity the situation must find a solution on a governmental level since, by prohibiting access for most of the modern ships, the risk is that Venice shall host only the less recent, less technologically advanced vessels, hence the lagoon terminal (a focal point for traffic in the Adriatic) shall gradually become marginalised, with repercussions upon Italy’s cruises sector as a whole, and on the employment and economic activities associated with the sector.”
Investments in infrastructures are ongoing. We note further improvements to the flows and routes inside the port for operators and passengers, for whom mobility is ensured via preassembled roofed walkways. The standard for baggage handling procedures has also been raised. At each terminal, this is the result of a system of suitcase and bag conveyor belts that lead, via tunnels under the building, to the wharf itself. The number of parking spaces has increased (now, 2334 in all) and the efficiency of the parking space automation system has been enhanced − not to mention user-friendly online booking with advanced payment via the VTP web site. Over the last year, the focus has been on services for passengers, with an increase in the number of information points, new services (para-pharmacy, ice cream outlets, shuttle and taxi services to the old city centre), and extension work on the central catering area (with its Italian and local wine and food specialities). The landing stages for boats to the old city centre (launches and taxis) have been rearranged, and protection has also been added in the vicinity of the mooring bollards, thus ensuring perfectly safe mooring.
Ravenna is a unique city, with eight UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is also the Emilia-Romagna region’s only port, at the very heart of the central and northern stretch of the Adriatic (Adriatico Centro-Settentrionale). The target of 40,000 cruise passengers was reached in 2015, as foreseen. This year, the symptoms of slow but significant re-growth are already emerging. The connections for supply of drinking water to the cruise ships wharf (Molo Crociere) have been completed, and supplies shall soon be operative. Optical fibre for broadband connections has now been installed at the cruise ships terminal, thanks to a protocol undersigned by the Ravenna port authority and the Provincial authority of Ravenna (as point of reference for the European EaSea-Way project).
Consistent developments are in the pipeline in Cagliari for 2016. The new terminal under construction at the Molo Rinascita wharf shall open in June. This key infrastructure attests to the cruise sector’s growth trend – due to which this Sardinian port welcomed 28 visits and nearly 47,000 passengers in 2004 and 97 visits with nearly 267,000 passengers a decade later, in 2015. 2015 was a record year for numbers of passengers transiting, exceeding even the data for 2011 (nearly 238,000 passengers). The result was, in any case, determined by the arrival of a greater number of ships (167). With the new cruises terminal, the layout of port operations (security and management of passengers during boarding and disembarkation, baggage handling, management of tourism services etc.) shall be greatly improved, and Cagliari shall also become a more competitive player within international marketplaces.
The construction work was completed in 2015 on the new yard in the port’s western zone (zona Ovest), serving the commercial traffic of ferries and container ships. This infrastructure provides greater fluidity for port activities, while enabling recovery of 50% of the old port areas in order to create a waterfront serving cruise passenger traffic. According to this general plan, the entire area of the Sporgente Centrale and Molo di Levante (respectively, the central and eastern moles or jetties) shall be dedicated to cruises, clearly leading to improvements in terms of working conditions and security. Maintenance work on the basin seabed has also been carried out, enabling attainment of a depth specification of less than 10 metres throughout the basin receiving cruise ship traffic.
VTP Engineering − the technological division of Venezia Terminal Passeggeri – offers to operators from all over the world its portfolio of products, technological resources and disembarkation/boarding systems, present in Venice and which are also requested by Italy’s major ports. These systems include the M.B.T. (Multipurpose Boarding Tower) and the S.B.B. (Ship Boarding Bridge). M.B.T. is an innovative cruise passengers disembarkation and boarding system consisting in a mobile multi-functional tower with lifts between wharf, terminal and ship, for boarding at any deck height. This means multiple, alternative flows can be provided for passengers and wharf staff/crew. The S.B.B. system, in the other hand, provides traditional boarding gangplank solutions. Cruise passenger disembarkation and boarding takes place via two roofed longitudinal tilting gangplanks leading upward from the level of the fixed terminal entrance to the ship’s boarding port. This system includes motorised bogies for movement along the quay. The seaward hanger was designed for use with next-generation ships featuring lifeboats arrayed externally on the bulwark.