Hamburg started construction of a third cruise-ship terminal in Germany’s second biggest port to meet the increasing demand, with passenger figures expected to nearly double by 2022. The guests that attended the official ground-breaking ceremony had the change to enjoy a mini cruise with AIDAluna across the Elbe river to reach the construction site. At the press conference aboard the vessel, Frank Horch, Hamburg Minister of Economy, Transport, and Innovation, said: “Cruising has has become a strong industry within the port and significantly boosts tourism in the city. For this reason, Hamburg continuously invests into the cruise industry. With the construction of the third cruise terminal, the next step is done to meet the demand of the shipping companies for powerful terminal capacity in the future. From this positive development the entire economy benefits.”
A booming cruise destination
Hamburg expects about 200 cruise vessels to use its port this year, with about 600,000 passengers embarking or disembarking, Frank Horch stated. According to the Hamburg Minister, the industry has created 1,500 local jobs in recent years, and generated 300 million euros in added value in the Hamburg region. Global cruise-ship passenger numbers rose 77 percent to 21.3 million in the decade through 2013, exceeding the 57 percent expansion in overall tourism mainly comprised of land-based holidaymakers, according to a report commissioned by the European branch of Cruise Lines International Association. Direct spending on operating expenses by the industry in Germany rose 3.6 per cent last year to 3.1 billion euros.
Handling up to 8,000 passengers in one go
The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg will spend about 80 million euro on turning a disused dock area into a facility the size of two soccer pitches by June 2015, said Jens Meier, CEO of Hamburg Port Authority. The city’s official port manager expects more than one million passengers per year to use the three cruise terminals. Hamburg has two other cruise-ship terminals, operating at HafenCity and Altona. The third terminal at Steinwerder will have parking space for 1,500 cars and capacity to process as many as 4,000 passengers boarding a ship simultaneously with the same number leaving the vessel, said Meier. “You would need a 2-kilometer (1.2-mile) long train to transport these 8,000 people, which underlines what this terminal needs to handle”, he said.
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