Carnival Corporation & plc today 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.
The Helix cruise center, located on the port’s Adossat wharf, is a tribute to extraordinary local expertise, talent and vision, as Carnival Corporationteamed 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 guests who visit Catalonia can take advantage of a variety of excursions, such as strolling the Girona historic quarter or visiting the multi-peaked rocky range of Montserrat and its Benedictine abbey, and exploring attractions within or around Barcelona, such as Gaudí Crypt in Sant Boi de Llobregat or Poble Nou and its beaches.
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 percent of its fleet outfitted with the systems, which significantly improve air emissions by reducing sulfur compounds and particulate matter from exhaust. Further, about 40 percent 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 and Spending
The construction of Carnival Corporation’s second cruise terminal at the Port of 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.
The Port of Barcelona was recognized as the best global turnaround port by the trade magazine Cruise Insight – a distinction it has received several times in recent years. More than half of cruise passengers visiting the Port of Barcelona begin and end their journey there, which is a major economic benefit for Catalonia and the city. 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.