New pontoons for cruise ships with 9m draft

October 30, 2019

On Tuesday, October 29, 2019 at 11:00, the Port of Rijeka Authority  held a press conference at the Rijeka breakwater on the occasion of berthing the cruise ship at the newly constructed pontoons in the Rijeka port.  Two new pontoons measuring approximately 9 meters x 6.5 meters, are located along the Rijeka breakwater, allowing the reception of cruise ships and merchant ships in the Rijeka Basin up to 295 meters in length and 9 meters in draft.

So far, cruise liners who were deeper that 7 meters in draft have moored at the container terminal Brajdica. This investment increased the capacity of the Rijeka port in the Rijeka Basin and provided the conditions for mooring larger cruise ships and larger merchant ships closer to Passenger Terminal and centre of the city of Rijeka.

The Port of Rijeka Authority started the procurement of new equipment in the middle of this year. The total value of the investment amounts to HRK 1,944,092.75 (HRK 1,555,275.20 + VAT), financed by the funds of the Port of Rijeka Authority, and the contract for the purchase and delivery of the pontoon was signed with the shipyard Dalmont d.o.o.

The new pontoons are prepared for the upcoming cruising season of 2020, which is expected to double the number of cruise ships in Rijeka according to current announcements. In the cruising season of 2020, the Port of Rijeka Authority expects 41 cruise ships with the expected 74,000 passengers and 30,600 crew members in the period since May to the end of October. This means that twice as many cruise ships and twice as many passengers and crew (105,600 people) will visit Rijeka next year than this year. The data is not final because the announcements for next season are still in progress and the final number of berthings may be even higher after the announcement is concluded.

Since the arrival in Rijeka has announced twice the number of cruise ships, it can be concluded that the new pontoons provide the much needed additional capacity for the upcoming cruising season in 2020.

For comparison, in 2018, 11 ships with 10,913 passengers and 5,650 crew members sailed to the port of Rijeka. A total of 24 cruise ships with 41,200 passengers and 16,800 crew will visit Rijeka this year. So far, 23 ships have sailed, and the season ends next month (10/11/2019) with the arrival of Celebrity Constellation.

The City of Rijeka, the Rijeka Tourist Board, the Kvarner Tourist Board and the Port of Rijeka Authority have been jointly pursuing a number of activities for the development of Rijeka into a recognizable cruise destination in Kvarner for several years. Next year, Rijeka is the European Capital of Culture, which represents an excellent opportunity for the wide promotion and positioning of Rijeka in a recognizable tourist cruise destination in Kvarner. Cruise tourism is a driver for the development of numerous service industries and a source of income for the private and public sectors, from ports and cities to cruise companies, tour operators, maritime and tourism agencies, so its effects on the economy are of great local, regional and national importance. The project being presented today is a direct support to the development of Rijeka as a cruise destination and an important step in the effort to retain the existing cruise line who have already included the Rijeka port in their cruise itineraries in the coming season and to attract additional new lines visiting the port in the coming years.

At the press conference, a new investment and announcement of cruise ship arrivals in 2020 and 2021 were presented by Denis Vukorepa, Executive director of the Port of Rijeka Authority, Petar Škarpa director of the Rijeka Tourist Board and Ivan Ivić, Chairman of the Board of the Dalmont Shipyard Ltd.

Denis Vukorepa, Executive director of the Port of Rijeka Authority further explained that numerous construction works are underway in the Rijeka port area. Due to the start of work at the Brajdica container terminal and the difficult working conditions at Brajdica, new pontoons become even more important for the reception of larger cruise ships due to the inability to moor at the container terminal. Also,  Rijeka will become the European Capital of Culture in 2020 with twice as many cruisers who will arrive in the city.  Vukorepa announced that 40 cruises are already announced for the 2021 cruise season already, so that number will certainly grow in two years.

Recalling the investments in progress or underway, the Executive director of the Port of Rijeka Authority pointed out that the port of Rijeka is in a major investment cycle. Asked when he was about to start construction of the marina in Porto Baros, Vukorepa said that the GUP (General Urban Plan) changes are awaiting adoption. And when they are voted down by the City Council, they start preparing for the new marina. In addition, he announced the preparation of a new project called South Berth, which would be a long-term solution for passenger ships, including ferry boats and cruisers. The preparation of project documentation is ongoing and the investment is estimated at around EUR 30 million. After the prepared documentation, the project will be applied to EU funds.

Petar Škarpa, Director of the Rijeka Tourist Board, expressed his satisfaction with the cooperation with the Port of Rijeka Authority and the City of Rijeka on attracting cruisers into the city and the fact that the number of cruisers is increasing by 100% annually, which will result in the arrival of 40 ships at the time when Rijeka becomes European the capital of culture. He noted that there is also an increase in the arrival of smaller boats, that is, tourist sailing ships. Over 100,000 people will visit Rijeka in the cruise segment, in total on both small and large ships. As for the economic effects, he stated that they were increasing because visitors stayed in Rijeka all day, walking around the city, using the services of buses, tour guides, restaurants. And the sailing ships also provide supplies for a seven-day trip. In its efforts to develop cruise tourism, the objective of the Rijeka Tourist Board in the coming years is to reach 50 large ships a year. Regarding  the financial indicators, he said that cruise guests at the Croatian level spend about 50 euros a day, and Rijeka is no exception. if this is multiplied by the announcement of the arrival of 100,000 passengers on cruisers in 2020, it can be estimated that Rijeka will cruise around EUR 5 million from cruising in the future.

Ivan Ivić, president of the Board of Dalmont Shipyard, Ltd. presented the pontoons and the quality of their construction and determined that they were made earlier than agreed. He added that they are waiting for a tender for reconstruction of Galeb in Dalmont, and they have one new ship building in the announcement.

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