MSC Cruises has obtained the final approval for the development of its new cruise terminal at the Port of Barcelona by the port’s Board of Directors.
The new cruise terminal for MSC Cruises will be its exclusive hub in the city and indicates the cruise line’s intention to homeport more in Barcelona moving forward.
MSC will build and operate the 11,670 square meter terminal for at least 31 years, investing around $35 million in the project.
The new terminal is expected to be completed by 2024, which time six additional cruise ships will have joined the fleet (MSC Seashore in 2021, MSC World Europa in 2022, MSC Seascape in 2023, as well as a Meraviglia-Plus class ship and two new Ultra Luxury class ships).
“We are particularly pleased with the award of this multi-year new terminal concession. Barcelona is not only an important homeport for the cruises division, but also for the entire group and its shipping business,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises.
“The new terminal is further proof of MSC Group’s longstanding commitment to the city of Barcelona and the entire Catalonia region,” he added.
MSC Cruises has partnered with the renowned Catalan architect Ricardo Bofill to design the cruise terminal, whom Vago said will make the terminal “another landmark for the beautiful city of Barcelona”.
According to Vago, the new terminal will allow MSC to operate “expanded homeport operations, resulting in added direct and indirect economic benefit for the city and the overall region.”
Barcelona is expected to benefit from greater tourism spending as a result of additional days spent in the city by fly-cruise tourists, while MSC Cruises will also be homeporting more of its ships in the city in future.
Vago confirmed that MSC World Europa will also be homeporting in Barcelona soon after her launch (although her maiden cruise season will be spent in the Middle East).
“The new terminal [also] allows us to further demonstrate our commitment to environmental sustainability as it will feature both shore power facilities as well as LNG bunkering operations,” he added.
World Europa is the brand’s first LNG-powered cruise ship, currently under construction and due to enter service in 2022.