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Port briefing

St Kitts

Boost in cruise figures


Cruise passenger arrivals continue to increase at Port Zante in Basseterre, St Kitts.

During the 2014/15 season St Kitts is expected to welcome 1 million cruise passengers for the first time – an increase of more than 30 per cent over the previous season. It represents a growth of some 500 per cent over the past eight years.

The growth has been helped by the scheduled six calls from Royal Caribbean’s new ‘Quantum of the Seas’ as well as the return of Disney Cruise Line for the first time since 2009.



New marina

Bermuda’s Fairmont Hamilton Princess resort has just opened a new 59 berth marina as part of a US$ 90 million redevelopment of the iconic property.
It will be the only full-service marina in Bermuda with integrated pump-out facilities and custom-metered electricity and water.

With regular events like the Bermuda Big Game Classic and the biennial Newport to Bermuda Race in 2016, the marina is a major asset for Bermuda’s vibrant boating and sailing community.

The economy of Bermuda can expect a significant boost, put at more than US$ 300 million, over the next three years following the announcement in December 2014 that the 35th America’s Cup will be held on the island in June 2017.


Dominican Republic

First calls at Amber Cove due in October 2015

The first calls at the new cruise terminal at Amber Cove are expected from October 2015. Carnival Cruise Lines’ newest port is on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, close to the resort of Puerto Plata. The ‘Carnival Victory’ will be the first of eight Carnival vessels to call Amber Cove. In all some 37 calls are planned between October 2015 and April 2016, bringing more than 100,000 passengers to the country. The Amber Cove terminal has two berths that can accommodate up to two large post panamax cruise ships simultaneously.




Work set to commence on canal development

Despite the skepticism among shipping industry experts and resistance by local people, construction of Nicaragua’s US$ 50 billion Interoceanic Grand Canal (as reported in CM23) commenced on 22 December 2014.

The suggested route for the 172 mile (278 km) canal was approved in July. Construction will be led by the HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co Ltd (HKND Group), of Hong Kong. The canal is expected to be completed in five years and to be operational by 2020.

The plan still has many opponents concerned about its effect on Lake Nicaragua and its impact on poorer communities.

The HKND Group has been awarded a 50-year concession to build and operate the canal, which will be able to accommodate vessels of up to 18,000 teu capacity. Already, some US$ 110 million has been spent on viability studies. The HKND Group is reported to be actively seeking investors to help finance the project.


The Bahamas

New cruise pier gets first call

A new cruise pier on Bimini received its first visitors in the fall of 2014 as Resorts World Bimini’s SuperFast cruise ship called there in the course of a sailing from Port Everglades, USA. The pier, which includes customs and immigration services, replaces the tender boat system formerly used to ferry passengers from ship to shore across the shallow waters of Bimini.

The new service was launched in 2013 from Miami. Resorts World Bimini is a cruise destination resort on North Bimini Island with 750 acres of luxury beachfront property including a casino.


Puerto Rico

Port operator partnership

The Port of the Americas is looking for a major international port operator to partner with as it seeks to win a slice of the growing market in the Caribbean in the run-up to the opening of the expanded Panama Canal in 2015.

The Port of the Americas in Ponce covers some 121 hectares and offers ample scope for development and expansion. The Puerto Rico government – which is positioning the island as a global business hub – has already invested more than US$ 285 million in upgrades to the port, including dredging the entrance channel and berths to 15.0 meters depth. The port is already equipped to serve panamax and post panamax vessels.


South America

Joint infrastructure initiative

A joint infrastructure initiative worth an estimated US$ 130 billion has been launched between some of South America’s largest economies. Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru will offer investment opportunities for a wide range of infrastructure projects.

The Latin America Herald Tribune reports that projects, funded through direct investment or public private partnerships, will primarily involve road development but will also include ports and railways.

There is expected to be $25 billion of investment in port construction in Brazil, $1.8 billion in Chile, $1.6 billion in Colombia and $300 million in Peru.



New cranes for Port Tampa Bay

Port Tampa Bay is spending US$ 24 million on two new gantry cranes. The 65 tonne cranes will have a reach of 174 ft, capable of handling containers across 19 rows and will enable the port to deal with post panamax vessels.

The purchase is part of the port’s strategy to expand its container capacity to 1 million teu a year. The handling area will be increased from 24 to 64 hectares. The cranes will be built and delivered by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co of China.



New services from Port Manatee to Mexico

Manatee-About-Us 2

A weekly container service between Port Manatee in Florida and the Port of Coatzacoalcos in Mexico has been launched by World Direct Shipping. It is being touted as the quickest shortsea link between Mexico and any US port. The largest part of the cargo is expected to be fresh fruit and vegetables.

The two and a half day voyage will significantly reduce the existing transit time between the two ports and will run alongside Port Manatee’s existing container services.