A warning message for cruiseships on dredging operations in Genoa port
Monzani (Stazioni Marittime) and Massa (MSC Crociere): without adequate seabed a substantial market share will skip town
While attending in Genoa the Blue Economy Summit on cruise business Leonardo Massa, country manager for Italy at MSC Crociere, and Edoardo Monzani, Managing Director at Stazioni Marittime Genova, sent a warning message on dredging operations in the port.
“It is common belief that cruise business in town would be never ending, however there's a risk it could be disrupted for missing equipment. Genoa is focusing on 5 million containers while totally disregarding 3 million potential cruise passengers”, stated Monzani, adding that major worry ensues from seabed dredging operations which will definitely prevent last generations cruiseships entering the port.
“Seabed reaches 8.50 metres while cruise ports record at least 10 metres and dredging must be running continuously otherwise ships will no longer list the port in their scheduling”.
Leonardo Massa added that “in 2023, when our World Class ships (over 200,000 GT, 6,000 guests) will be calling at Genoa seabed will be a key element and 2023 is right behind the corner because cruise companies need scheduling cruises far ahead of time”.
Besides dredging, other problems must be sorted out. “Our quays are provided with bollards suited for 100 tons ships while at least 300 tons will be required. We confide they will be replaced by the end of this year. Some MSC's Captains refused to moor their ship for this problem”.
In essence, we risk seizing substantial development and investment opportunities; MSC already announced they intend expanding in town: “We are interested in Hennebique and many other activities in Genoa” added Massa, finally stating they are also interested in Parodi quay and other areas.
Anthony La Salandra of Risposte Turismo reported that the three Ligurian ports are currently listed in the Top 20 Mediterranean destinations.
Besides Genoa and Savona, the ranking led by Barcelona, cancelled a Greek port and listed La Spezia.
Three million passengers were handled this year in Liguria, first Italian region in terms of passengers even if not in number of ships, because Genoa and Savona are homeports, essentially handling many passengers but recording fewer stopovers”.
Genoa is ranked sixth in the Mediterranean: 1 million and 350,000 passengers and 257 stopovers are envisaged in 2019, Savona is 14th with 750,000 passengers and 164 stopovers, while La Spezia is ranked 16th with 650,000 cruisers and 159 stopovers.
Cemar Agency Network's number one, Sergio Senesi, provided few data: “Italy is ranked first European destination for cruise tourism: in 2019 passengers will reach 11,911,000, +7.13% versus 2018, while in 2020 overall 13 million (+7.88%) will be recorded.
In 1999 overall 2,288,000 cruisers versus current 11,911,000 were handled in town.
A further remarkable news is the development of the extra-luxury sector: 29 ships out of 106 under construction are extra-luxury units, a market segment with high growth potential. Very innovative eco-friendly ships exclusively provided with suites some of them also supplied with helicopters and submarines”.