- 26. Februar 2016
A Major Boost for the Sector: Even Easier Access to Hamburg for Cruise ShipsCarnival Maritime to use services of HVCC Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center.
The Nautical Terminal Coordination (NTC) is expanding its portfolio to include cruise ships. It will in future provide support for Costa and AIDA vessels when they call at the Port of Hamburg. When it arrives in Hamburg for the first time on 27 February 2016, AIDAmar will be the first cruise ship to call in Hamburg under the supervision of NTC, working in cooperation with Carnival Maritime’s fleet operations centre.
Hamburg’s cruise ship business is booming, with 160 visits expected in 2016. Carnival Maritime has opted to use the services of NTC to ensure that its vessels enjoy plain sailing when arriving at and departing from the Port of Hamburg. Within the HVCC Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center, NTC supports port operators, shipping companies and authorities in coordinating the ever-increasing number of calls of ultra-large vessels. Cruise ships belong in this category: AIDAprima, for example, has a width of 37.6 metres. This ship is scheduled to call at the Port of Hamburg once a week as of April. Carnival Maritime is the marine operations unit at the Costa Group (Costa, AIDA). The Costa and AIDA shipping companies will use the Port of Hamburg no less than 80 times this year.
Jörgen Strandberg, director of Carnival Maritime’s fleet operations centre, has great expectations for this cooperation: “Just like every other port, Hamburg presents several nautical challenges for us to tackle. Nautical Terminal Coordination will help us make operations even smoother when guiding the cruise ships of our shipping companies Costa and AIDA into and out of the port. The concept behind this organisation is without parallel anywhere in the world. It was what won our confidence: we also believe that we can perform our work with even greater reliability and safety if we pool all existing operative information. We benefit from this, which in turn benefits our guests and all other stakeholders.”
Heinrich Goller, Managing Director of the HVCC Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center, expressed his elation at the decision, saying, “Carnival Maritime is an important company, and we are delighted to have them on board as our first partner from the cruise ship segment. This partnership represents a major boost for the entire industry: the more partners we have using our services, the better we can coordinate operations for mega-ship calls. This also goes for cruise ships. Although they might not pose the kinds of issues in terms of draught that we see with large container ships, their width can easily lead to problems when passing other mega-ships as they navigate the Elbe estuary. Our goal is to spot potential conflicts as early as possible and provide our partners with operational proposals so that these situations can be avoided in advance.”
With the processing up the estuary of ultra-large vessels’ in mind, NTC staff monitor the knock-on effects that can occur when other ships are arriving or departing. They do this for the entire duration of the ship’s approach in northern Europe and its handling operations in the Port of Hamburg. They identify potential conflict situations at a very early stage and can reduce the impact on the entire port system. Working closely with the Hamburg Vessel Traffic Service Centre, NTC’s duties include cross-terminal coordination of the preliminary planning, approach guidance and departure planning of mega-ships in the Port of Hamburg. NTC commenced three-shift operation in October 2015.