Marseille Fos and Miami renewed link for cruise growth. Announced a six-month delay for its giant Drydock

Fifteen years after they first twinned, the Marseille Fos and Miami port authorities have renewed the link in a move to support further development of their mutual cruise interests.

The latest agreement was signed in Marseille by the port’s CEO Christine Cabau Woehrel and Miami port director Juan Kuryla. The original twinning in 2000 with Miami – which handled 4.8 million cruise passengers last year – was key to establishing the cruise offering at Marseille, which is forecasting 1.5 million cruise visitors this year and is already among the top five Mediterranean cruise ports.
The two ports now intend to study how their complementary seasons can boost growth in their respective markets.

Cruiseship repair plan hit by Marseille drydock delay
The Marseille Fos port authority has announced a six-month delay to the scheduled re-opening this autumn of its giant Drydock 10 shiprepair facility, which is undergoing a €28 million renovation after being closed since 2000.

The delay follows a concrete pile-driving mishap in March when a small section of wall at the base of the dock gate was dislodged and revealed deep cracking. Main contractor Spie batignolles TPCI suspended operations to lead an exhaustive study of the concrete and steel reinforcement that was completed in May. The company has now defined remedial measures and adjusted the project completion date to next March.

At 465 metres long and 85m wide, the drydock is the world’s third biggest. It will cater for the latest generation container carriers, LNG tankers, bulk vessels and offshore rigs, but is being marketed principally as a mega cruiseship repair base offering minimum deviation.

Marseille is the leading French cruise port – handling 493 calls and 1.3 million passengers last year – and 65% of the world’s largest cruise vessels operate in the Mediterranean.
The 25-year drydock operating franchise was won by a group including Italy’s San Giorgio del Porto, their subsidiary Chantier Naval de Marseille (CNM) – which currently runs two smaller drydocks at the port – and cruiseship builder Mariotti.

Shipowners who were in line to use Drydock 10 from September have been advised of the delay and helped with alternative arrangements by CNM and the port authority, who are now working to confirm bookings from next spring.

(Marseille Fos)

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