PLA awards joint contract for Thames moorings

Last year the moorings attracted more than 20 calls from cruise ships including 'Viking Sea' and 'Silver Cloud' Last year the moorings attracted more than 20 calls from cruise ships including 'Viking Sea' and 'Silver Cloud'

The Port of London Authority has awarded a five-year contract for management of its Central London Cruise Moorings to a joint venture between the Port of Tilbury and MBNA Thames Clippers.

The five-year deal will see the joint venture taking over responsibility for the smooth day-to-day operations of three moorings – Greenwich Ship Tier, Tower Bridge Upper and George’s Stair Tier – on behalf of the PLA.  Last year the moorings attracted more than 20 calls from cruise ships including Viking Sea and Silver Cloud.

The joint venture brings together capabilities including 17 boats servicing over 4.1 million commuters, domestic visitors and international tourists exploring London as well as experience managing over 100,000 passengers a year through servicing cruise ship calls at Tilbury and at ports in Scotland.  The partners’ responsibilities under the contract will include ensuring management of the moorings complies with all national and international regulations, appointing and training port security officers, marketing and promoting London’s cruise facilities to potential customers, and liaising with the PLA harbour master and ships’ agents where necessary around ship calls.

“Our London cruise moorings offer passengers a rare opportunity to get right to the heart of a world city, close to UNESCO World Heritage sites, at both the Tower of London and Maritime Greenwich,” said PLA chief financial officer, Julie Tankard. “The Port of Tilbury and MBNA Thames Clippers won the contract after a close competition.  We’re excited to see how their proposals enhance the experience of cruise ship passengers visiting London.”

MBNA Thames Clippers and the Port of Tilbury’s cruise business, Capital Cruising, plan to invest in all aspects of the operation to deliver a world-class service for cruise ships and passengers visiting London.  Under the new agreement, which comes into immediate effect, MBNA Thames Clippers will handle all marine elements and transfers and Capital Cruising will look after the International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) security elements and passenger/baggage handling.

By Jake Frith

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