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Cruise Operators Offer $30 Million to Fund Terminal on Amador Causeway

Article Summary:

Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Holland America, and Princess are among cruise ship companies offering $30 million to build a cruise terminal on the Amador Causeway.

Photo Credit: Prensa

Original Article Text From Prensa via Google Translate :

Government Negotiates the Cruise Port Concession

The future construction of a cruise port of Amador sector generated interest among major cruise lines worldwide.

The first contacts between entrepreneurs and local authorities were given during the meeting of the Florida Cruise Association (FCCA, for its acronym in English) that occurred in Panama in June.

In this forum the idea of ​​a cruise operator take charge of the terminal through a concession granted by the State.

The proposal, which comes from the cruise lines themselves, arrives in time for the Government, considering that with the desire to run expensive projects need as much revenue as possible.

The port is built on the Amador Causeway, near the Balboa Yacht Club, and to enable the arrival of cruise ships would have to achieve a depth of 10 meters, ie, adding two meters to the existing draft.

The companies that were interested would be willing to invest some $ 30 million, provided that the government grant them the administration of the terminal.

It was learned that the grant would be given for a period of 20 years with the option to renew the contract for 20 years.

The government would use a scheme similar to that used in 1997 when he leased out the port of Colon 2000, when it agreed a fee for the right key, plus a monthly fee per square meter.

Solomon Shamah, administrator of the Panama Tourism Authority, acknowledged that holding talks with a cruise company, but declined to elaborate.

“We are defining the basis of the agreement to sit down and negotiate, but I can not say anything else,” he said.

The company asked the government did not give details of the negotiations before its board approved the investment plan.

Among the cruise lines that have supported the idea of ​​Panama to build a port in the Pacific are Royal Caribbean, which manages the home port on the terminal of Columbus 2000, and Carnival.

Holland America and Princess also reported to be in favor of the new port.

During the meeting of the FCCA, the nearly 300 executives who met in Panama, explained the impact that the terminal becomes operational once the expansion of the Panama Canal.

This would allow to make the transit through the waterway in Amador stop and visit the museum of biodiversity, among other attractions.

A total of 200 cruise ships with over 220 thousand passengers crossed the Panama Canal in the recently concluded 2011-2012 season. Of this total, less than 40% made a stop in the Pacific.

Currently, passengers are transported in small boats from the cruise terminal to Flamenco Island, logistics becomes difficult in the night, especially because most travelers are retirees.

Besides functioning as a passenger terminal, the port would serve as a refueling center. The proximity of the new terminal storage tanks located in Balboa caught the attention of the representatives of the cruise lines.

If realized the project would open the possibility of creating new routes from Panama. So far we have established two possibilities: the North come to Mexico, while the southern ports in Colombia include and extend to Chile.

TOURISM INDUSTRY
220 000 Panama cruise passengers received in the 2011-2012 season.

2 lines of cruise ships ‘home port’ in Panama.

4.7% Increased tourist arrivals in the first five months of 2012.

Link to Original Article:

From Prensa

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