Port of Kiel expands cruise ship handling
The Port of Kiel is expanding its busy Ostseekai cruise terminal to cope with passenger totals tipped to rise to more than 600,000 this year, writes Tom Todd.
Construction starts in August on a second passenger and baggage handling centre at the terminal’s Berth 28, alongside and attached to the existing centre.The Ostseekai Terminal is one of four cruise ship handling facilities in the German Baltic seaport.
The new Ostseekai facility is costing some €7.5 million and will mean that operational processes can be separated, officials said. Whereas previously two ships were handled by a single facility, each individual ship will in future have its own.
The building is due to open next spring in time for the 2019 cruise shipping season, which officials believe could be yet another record breaking one. The facility will be a 3,700 m2 two-storey integrated northern extension of the existing terminal building with connections on both levels.
Structurally, the two buildings will create a V-shaped reception area. From here travellers can enter the terminal itself while visitors use an outside flight of stairs to a big viewing terrace.
Functionally, the new building is part of the existing terminal. While baggage handling is taking place on the ground floor, the upper floor will be for passengers and check-in procedures. From here, travellers will be conducted directly across existing gangways and onto the ship. No new gangways were being built, a port spokesman told Maritime Journal.
The extension has been designed by local architects Hillenkamp & Roselius and by Ladwig but construction firms had not yet been named The port spokesman said civil engineering and main works contracts were not being awarded until July, cladding work in August and interior work contracts in September.
Port head Dirk Claus said “We are taking a great leap forward against a background of ever more visits by cruise ships and increases in the sizes of those ships. A terminal for every ship berth means the best possible service for shipping companies and passengers”.
Kiel has three cruise ship terminals with four berths close to the city centre and another berth in the Ostuferhafen. This year it expects 165 calls by 32 different cruise ships and more than 600,000 passengers – a record for the port.
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