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First study on guidelines for building cruise terminals unveiled by Port of Barcelona

First study on guidelines for building cruise terminals unveiled by Port of Barcelona
The Port of Barcelona which has been leading the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC) Working Group (WG) 152, unveiled its first Guidelines for CruiseTerminals at  Seatrade Cruise Global 2016.

David Pino, chairman of WG 152 and head of territorial planning and technical management of
concessions at the Port of Barcelona, presented the conclusions of the study to representatives from the cruise community at the MedCruise booth on the exhibition floor yesterday.

'Our work has been pioneering, because this is the first guide of its kind, despite the global boom currently enjoyed by cruise tourism,' said Pino.

'We set out to create a useful and practical document for the sector, which highlights aspects such as rationality, efficiency and sustainability of cruise terminal design and construction,' he added.

Set up in 2012, WG 152 has worked to draft a set of guidelines for the functional design of cruise terminals using a study of the needs of modern cruise ships and an analysis of the port facilities involved in this traffic sector.

The document is the result of four years' work with members of PIANC from five countries (US, Norway, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain) and representatives of terminal operators, engineering consultants, port authorities and cruise lines.

The guide includes all of the areas involved in cruiseship operations: elements on the maritime side, the wharf-side services area (apron), terminal building and land transport area. It also includes guidelines on security and financial and operational aspects.

There are more than 300 cruise ships currently operating worldwide, with over 40 more coming on stream in the near future. 'The ports that already handle this traffic must continually adapt their infrastructure to meet cruise lines' needs. It is essential for port development to be planned carefully and to include appropriate facilities and terminals prepared for present and future requirements,' underlined Pino.

One of the most crucial aspects conditioning the development of port facilities is the trend towards ever-larger cruise ships; over the last 15 years, the average capacity of cruise ships has grown by 138% to 3,100 passengers, while average vessel length has increased by 50% up to 300mtr. In
addition, ships with a capacity for over 5,000 passengers, are becoming more and more common.

The guide sets out the various aspects to be defined before designing the maritime part of cruise terminals, such as the characteristics of the ships that the port expects to receive, approach and berthing manoeuvres, mooring and defence systems and the type of protection against erosion of
propellers, among other details.

Terminals at ports specialising in turnaround operations must have a berth service area at least 30mtr wide, according to the guide. Optimum apron width in ports of call is 22mtr. Another important element of this area is passenger access gangways, which can be either fixed, fixed-telescopic (fixed to the building, but adjustable to connect to the door of the ship) or adjustable and mobile.

The guide also specifies the elements and aspects which a cruise terminal building should include in order to provide maximum efficiency in loading and unloading operations.