Miami - Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest leisure travel company, on 5th May officially opened its second cruise terminal at the Port of Barcelona with an inauguration ceremony attended by government, business and community representatives.
The ceremony included Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation; Julio Gómez-Pomar Rodríguez, secretary of state for infrastructures, transport and housing for the government of Spain; Enric Millo, government delegate in Catalonia; Ricard Font, secretary of infrastructure and mobility for the government of Catalonia; Agustí Colom, councilor of tourism, commerce and markets for the Barcelona City Council; Jose Llorca, chairman of Puertos del Estado; and Sixte Cambra, president of the Port of Barcelona. During the ceremony, the company revealed that Helix cruise center will be the name of its new 12,500 square meter state-of-the-art terminal. At over 46 million euros, the Helix terminal and the company’s existing terminal at the port represent Carnival Corporation’s largest combined terminal investment in Europe.
Designed by Catalan architecture firm Batlle i Roig Arquitectura, the company’s newest cruise terminal reflects modern and graceful architectural style with straight lines, creating a contemporary and comfortable guest environment designed to enhance the embarkation and disembarkation process for cruise guests. Also making its debut shortly will be the port’s first public parking facility, providing guests embarking on cruises with access to nearly 300 parking spaces.
In addition, the Helix terminal will accommodate Carnival Corporation’s new class of next-generation “green” cruise ships that will be fully operated by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel: “After years of working closely with our extraordinary partners in Barcelona, including the port, its support network of local businesses and the city, we are absolutely thrilled to introduce our world-class Helix cruise center to welcome guests from around the world to Europe’s best-loved cruise port and to Barcelona, one of the world’s greatest cities and regions,” said Giora Israel, senior vice president of global ports and destination development for Carnival Corporation. “As the world’s largest cruise company with more than 100 ships that sail to over 700 destinations across the globe, our goal is to provide our guests with extraordinary vacations, and we are confident that our new terminal will help us enhance the overall experience for our guests. The terminal stands as a tribute to the remarkable appeal of Barcelona and the entire country as one of the world’s most beautiful, vibrant and compelling destinations. We are proud of the work that has been accomplished together with the port, city, government, business and community. We now look forward to working with the port of Barcelona and its community partners to make the cruise terminal a highly efficient and customer-friendly operation.” “We have a long history of working with Carnival Corporation and its cruise line brands,” said Cambra, president of Port of Barcelona. “We appreciate their strong commitment to our great port, city and region, and we are excited about the new Helix cruise center, which is already earning rave reviews as one of the world’s most spectacular cruise terminals. We appreciated the opportunity to work closely with Carnival Corporation. In every aspect, and particularly in its innovative and sustainable approach, this is a world-class cruise terminal that further enhances our reputation as one of the best ports in the world.” “In a city and region known for its inspiring and beautiful architecture, it is exciting to have Carnival Corporation’s stunning Helix cruise center grace the Port of Barcelona as our newest landmark,” said Font, secretary of infrastructure and mobility for the government of Catalonia. “We appreciate Carnival Corporation having such a positive impact on our local economy and employment and for making such a significant investment in our region – the company’s commitment underscores our shared enthusiasm that Barcelona will always be one of the top destinations in the world.” “Barcelona needs operators strongly committed to its visitors, but also to the city,” said Colom, councilor of tourism, commerce and markets for the Barcelona City Council. “We need operators with whom we can work side by side to improve the sustainability and the social return that tourist activity generates in the city, reducing to the maximum its externalities. We are already collaborating with the port and the Cruise Line Industry Association (CLIA) in this direction, and it will be essential to also have the active involvement of important cruise line operators, such as Carnival Corporation, who have clearly opted for Barcelona, to have a port for the city, more straightforward, open and much more citizen.”
The Helix cruise center, located on the port’s Adossat wharf, is a tribute to extraordinary local expertise, talent and vision, as Carnival Corporation teamed with local officials and companies to design and build one of the world’s most spectacular and functional cruise terminals. Eight brands from Carnival Corporation – AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn and P&O Cruises (UK) – visit Barcelona throughout the year, with six of those eight brands operating full or partial homeporting in Barcelona in 2018. Carnival Corporation is expecting to accommodate over one million passenger movements at the port in 2018, with 289 calls by 38 different ships.
Carnival Corporation, Port of Barcelona Team Up for Improving Air Quality Carnival Corporation’s deployment of LNG-fueled ships to the port supports the pioneering Air Quality Improvement Plan proposed by the Port of Barcelona in November 2016 to effectively reduce emissions from port activities. Last year, Barcelona became the first cruise port in the Mediterranean with facilities to supply cruise ships with LNG. In total, Carnival Corporation currently has agreements in place to build nine fully LNG-powered cruise ships across four of its nine global cruise brands in coming years. In addition to its ships that will pioneer the use of LNG, the company has been an industry leader with another environmental technology breakthrough, making exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) highly functional in the small confines of a cruise ship.
Currently Carnival Corporation has more than 60% of its fleet outfitted with the systems, which significantly improve air emissions by reducing sulfur compounds and particulate matter from exhaust. Further, about 40% of the fleet was equipped with cold ironing capabilities by the end of 2017, enabling ships to use an alternative power source in port where available.
CRUISE INDUSTRY’S POSITIVE ECONOMIC IMPACT EXTENDS TO LOCAL JOBS
Barcelona secured local employment for up to 150 people through its work with local contractor companies Vopi 4 S.A., Elecnor S.A., Project Facilities Management SL and their subcontractors, as well as gangway manufacturer Adelte S.A.; specialist seat manufacturer Figueras International Seating, which designed a new bench specially for the terminal; and the existing team of local architect and engineering firms Batlle i Roig Arquitectura, Static Engineering and PGI Engineering. According to a 2016 study from the University of Barcelona, cruise passengers who begin or end their cruise vacation in Barcelona on average spend 2.8 days in the city before or after their trip and spend around 230 euros per day.
According to the updated study, cruise activity at the Port of Barcelona generates an annual turnover of 790 million euros in Barcelona, contributing 411 million euros to the gross domestic product (GDP) of Barcelona.The study also shows that cruise activity at the port generates 6,809 jobs and has other positive effects on the local economy such as the increase of activity at Aeroport del Prat. The company’s positive economic impact will increase with the launch of Carnival Corporation’s Helix cruise center.
Carnival Corporation operates five additional global ports, including Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic; Puerta Maya in Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Turk Cruise Center in Turks and Caicos Islands; Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras; and Long Beach in California. Carnival Corporation also operates two private island destinations in the Caribbean, Princess Cays and Half Moon Cay. In total, Carnival Corporation cruise ships visit over 700 ports of call around the world.