Carnival Corporation opens Helix cruise centre at Port of Barcelona

Carnival Corporation & plc, the world's largest leisure travel company, has officially opened its second cruise terminal at the Port of Barcelona.

The company revealed that Helix cruise centre will be the name of its new 12,500m2 state-of-the-art terminal. At over €46 million, the Helix terminal and the company's existing terminal at the port represent Carnival Corporation's largest combined terminal investment in Europe.

The Helix terminal, located on the port's Adossat wharf, will accommodate Carnival Corporation's new class of next-generation "green" cruise ships that will be fully operated by LNG, the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel.

"After years of working closely with our extraordinary partners in Barcelona, including the port, its support network of local businesses and the city, we are absolutely thrilled to introduce our world-class Helix cruise centre to welcome guests from around the world to Europe's best-loved cruise port and to Barcelona, one of the world's greatest cities and regions," said Giora Israel, senior vice president of global ports and destination development for Carnival Corporation.

"As the world's largest cruise company with more than 100 ships that sail to over 700 destinations across the globe, our goal is to provide our guests with extraordinary vacations, and we are confident that our new terminal will help us enhance the overall experience for our guests. The terminal stands as a tribute to the remarkable appeal of Barcelona and the entire country as one of the world's most beautiful, vibrant and compelling destinations. We are proud of the work that has been accomplished together with the port, city, government, business and community. We now look forward to working with the port of Barcelona and its community partners to make the cruise terminal a highly efficient and customer-friendly operation."

"We have a long history of working with Carnival Corporation and its cruise line brands," said Sixte Cambra, president of Port of Barcelona. "We appreciate their strong commitment to our great port, city and region, and we are excited about the new Helix cruise centre, which is already earning rave reviews as one of the world's most spectacular cruise terminals. We appreciated the opportunity to work closely with Carnival Corporation. In every aspect, and particularly in its innovative and sustainable approach, this is a world-class cruise terminal that further enhances our reputation as one of the best ports in the world."

Eight brands from Carnival Corporation – AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn and P&O Cruises (UK) – visit Barcelona throughout the year, with six of those eight brands operating full or partial homeporting in Barcelona in 2018. Carnival Corporation is expecting to accommodate over one million passenger movements at the port in 2018, with 289 calls by 38 different ships.

Carnival Corporation's deployment of LNG-fueled ships to the port supports the pioneering Air Quality Improvement Plan proposed by the Port of Barcelona in November 2016 to effectively reduce emissions from port activities. Last year, Barcelona became the first cruise port in the Mediterranean with facilities to supply cruise ships with LNG. In total, Carnival Corporation currently has agreements in place to build nine fully LNG-powered cruise ships across four of its nine global cruise brands in coming years.

In addition to its ships that will pioneer the use of LNG, the company has been an industry leader with another environmental technology breakthrough, making exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) highly functional in the small confines of a cruise ship. Currently, Carnival Corporation has more than 60% of its fleet outfitted with the systems, which significantly improve air emissions by reducing sulphur compounds and particulate matter from the exhaust. Further, about 40% of the fleet was equipped with cold ironing capabilities by the end of 2017, enabling ships to use an alternative power source in port where available.

The construction of Carnival Corporation's second cruise terminal at the Port of Barcelona secured local employment for up to 150 people through its work with local contractor companies Vopi 4 S.A., Elecnor S.A., Project Facilities Management SL and their subcontractors, as well as gangway manufacturer Adelte S.A.; specialist seat manufacturer Figueras International Seating, which designed a new bench specially for the terminal; and the existing team of local architect and engineering firms Batlle i Roig Arquitectura, Static Engineering and PGI Engineering.

The Port of Barcelona was recognised as the best global turnaround port by the trade magazine Cruise Insight – a distinction it has received several times in recent years. More than half of cruise passengers visiting the Port of Barcelona begin and end their journey there, which is a major economic benefit for Catalonia and the city. According to a 2016 study from the University of Barcelona, cruise passengers who begin or end their cruise vacation in Barcelona on average spend 2.8 days in the city before or after their trip and spend around 230 euros per day.

According to the updated study, cruise activity at the Port of Barcelona generates an annual turnover of 790 million euros in Barcelona, contributing 411 million euros to the gross domestic product (GDP) of Barcelona. The study also shows that cruise activity at the port generates 6,809 jobs and has other positive effects on the local economy such as the increase of activity at Aeroport del Prat. The company's positive economic impact will increase with the launch of Carnival Corporation's Helix cruise centre.