US cruise giant Carnival Corporation has received approval to build and operate a second terminal at the Port of Barcelona.
At 11,500 m², the new Terminal E on the port’s Adossat Wharf will be one of the largest in Europe. Carnival plans to begin the final design process and start construction in 2016, with the opening scheduled for 2018.
As well, Carnival will collaborate with the port authority to build and open the first public parking facility located on the wharf, providing cruise passengers with access to over 300 parking spaces.
Carnival already operates a private cruise terminal at the port, Terminal D, named Palacruceros, adjacent to the new facility.
The company has 10 cruise line brands – including Aida, Costa, Cunard, Holland America Line, P&O, Princess Cruises, and Seabourn, as well as Carnival Cruise Line – and Barcelona is used by seven of them as both a destination and home port.
In total, Carnival cruise ships visit over 725 ports of call.
Speaking to IHS Maritime, a Barcelona Port Authority (BPA) spokeswoman said, “Adossat Wharf, where the terminal will be located, doesn’t need additional dredging and we don’t have to build new infrastructure. However, there is currently a multipurpose terminal – Port Nou – where the new Terminal E will be built and that means that in the following weeks Port Nou will move to a new location, a bit further south along Adossat Wharf, so that works for Terminal E can get started.
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“We are investing EUR1.54 million (USD1.69 million) in the parking site construction – BPA builds it, but it will be managed by Carnival,” she added. “We will also carry out land development in the area, but I cannot confirm that investment yet.”
Asked if there were any special challenges in building the new terminal, the spokeswoman said, “Not specifically. Carnival has long experience in building and managing terminals and, for the Port of Barcelona, it will be its seventh cruise terminal.”
Barcelona’s six existing terminals handled 764 cruise calls and more than 2.36 million passengers last year – figures that look to be beaten in 2015.
In the six months to June, cruise passenger numbers reached just over 1 million, up 6% on 2014, and the spokeswoman said the port expected to welcome 2.5 million passengers by the end of the year.
Cruise passengers had an economic impact of nearly EUR257 million in the port city during 2013, according to studies by Barcelona’s Tourist Office based on spending on restaurants, transport, and trade.
BPA president Sixte Cambra said, “This new agreement ensures that we will continue to meet the growing popularity of cruising to and from Barcelona, accommodate the latest in cruise ship designs and most importantly provide cruise passengers with the highest levels of quality and service.”
Carnival’s Barcelona terminal operations managing director Michel Nestour added, “As an all-new, next-generation cruise facility, the terminal will be designed to enhance the overall cruise experience for our guests, whether they are arriving to begin a cruise, disembarking, or visiting Barcelona as one of the ports of call.”
Carnival, which operates two private island destinations in the Caribbean, Princess Cays and Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas, also has terminals in four other major cruise destinations: Puerta Maya in Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Turk Cruise Center in the Turks & Caicos Islands; Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras; and Long Beach in California.
At Puerta Plata in the Dominican Republic, Carnival also plans to open the Amber Cove Cruise Center in October 2015, and is expanding operations in Cozumel, adding a third pier at Puerta Maya to enable it to receive three ships simultaneously, beginning with the 2015 winter cruising season.