Those of you who were on holiday last month might have missed reading news reports announcing that the Major of London, Boris Johnson MP, had given the go ahead to a new cruise ship terminal being built in London. As we provide many of our customers with a cruise travel insurance product, we know better than most just how popular cruising holidays can be, so, whilst paying due respect to the local residents’ misgivings, we here at Explorer are fully supportive of the new scheme.
Who knows? You might even have been on a cruise last week! If you were, this is what the scheme is all about.
The Royal Borough of Greenwich’s Planning Board recently gave its consent to the scheme. Once built , the scheme will be located at Enderby Wharf and will allow ‘mid-sized’ cruise ships to dock there. These are ships that measure up to 230 meters and carry up to 1600 passengers. Fred Olsen has several of these size in their fleet as do Thomson Cruises and Holland America Lines.
The terminal, once opened in 2017, will have capacity for up to 55 ships annually. Importantly, the new development will provide 263 new homes split across two towers of 31 and 23 storeys. A further 121 homes in a 26-storey tower have also been drawn up. It will also offer passengers and residents access to new restaurants, cafes and bars.
The development has not been without its detractors, mainly from local residents and community groups who fear an increase in air pollution. Many of these picked up on an admission by consultants, commissioned by the Mayor’s office during the consultation period leading up to the decision, who acknowledged that the new terminal could have a “moderate adverse impact on occasion”.
So we’re encouraged by comments from the cruise industry’s trade body, the Cruise Lines International Association which immediately put out a statement stressing that the industry is a “leader in the global maritime community in environmental stewardship and environmental best practice”. And even more by Costa Cruises recently announcing that it will will building “the most environmentally friendly cruise ships ever built”.
Costa Cruises’ ships will be docking at the new terminal, including, no doubt, its ‘Costa Classica’ and ‘Europa’.
We’re sure that the new Terminal, once operational will give cruise operators the chance to offer their customers an even wider choice of itineraries. As well as fly-cruise holidays, no-fly cruises are already hugely popular, as are cruises around the UK and those starting from the existing UK ports. Will we ever see, we wonder, the Tube-cruise holiday?