South Korea’s port of Busan plans to bring new facilities on-stream this year, and has announced further developments in the future to meet the growing interest in Northeast Asia as a cruise destination.
In September, the port will officially open a new cruise terminal to complement the current facility – Yeongdo Cruise Pier, opened in 2007 – to accommodate the trend for larger vessels.
This facility will take cruise ships up to 130,000 tons and has 360 meters of quay length with 12 meters of water depth.
The new terminal facility is a six-story building with total area of 93,932 square meters.
Busan Port Authority has announced further plans to extend this new facility by adding an additional 75 meters of quay in order to accommodate vessels up to 200,000 tons. The extension will be operational by 2018. In the interim, Gammam Pier – an existing container berth – will be made available for the larger cruise ships.
The cruise developments at Busan port are fully supported by the Korean government which has recently re-confirmed its commitment to developing the nation as a cruise hub and marine tourism destination.
Plans include constructing additional cruise terminals nationwide to enhance facilities from the current three terminals to nine by 2020.
”Cruise markets have traditionally focused on the Mediterranean, Europe and the Caribbean but we are now seeing passengers developing a taste for Northeast Asia. We can offer luxurious yet inexpensive cruise itineraries,” President of Busan Port Authority LIM Ki-tack said.
”Cruise is a complex industry involving ports, tourism, customs, immigration, quarantine, ship supplies, ship agencies and more. We have listened to each sector so that we can enhance and develop Busan into a leading cruise destination. Last year we created the Busan Cruise Community comprising all those with an interest in this sector and we will use this forum to gather opinions and ideas to further develop the Busan cruise industry.”
The port of Busan has seen cruise passenger throughput increase 28 fold since 2004 and cruise ship calls grow by a factor of six. Busan is expecting to welcome 280,000 passengers and 135 cruise ships in 2015.