The highly anticipated Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore (MBCCS) at Marina South marks another significant milestone in Singapore’s cruise tourism industry.
The first purpose-built terminal is one of the biggest in Asia with 28,000-square-meter of space which cost an estimated S$500 million to build. It welcomed its first ship, Royal Caribbean International’s 138,000-tonne Voyager of the Seas, on 26 May 2012, the largest ever to homeport in Singapore.
Purposeful and strategic
The establishment of this multi-million-dollar cruise terminal capable of accommodating the world’s largest luxury cruise liners is necessary for this nation to become a world-class dock. After all, the old Singapore Cruise Centre was a narrow channel with a dead end that imposed height and berth limits on the cruise operators due to the geographical limitations of the site.
With deep water, a large turning basin and no height restrictions, the terminal has the capability to dock ships of up to 220,000 gross register tonnage (GRT) and measuring up to 360m in length with a hull draft of up to 11.5m.
Facilities and infrastructure
Ensuring fast and smooth flow of transiting passengers are the 80 check-in counters and 40 immigration counters that make up the spacious arrival and departure halls alongside a large ground transportation area that allows the terminal to handle 6,800 passengers at any point of time.
On top of that, other facilities that makes the terminal highly accessible are the 25 coach bays, 327 carpark lots and convenient road access with provisions made for future walkway linkages to MRT stations, the waterfront promenade and the park.
Set against the city skyline, the design concept is inspired by cubistic waves form, while the interior follows a concept that simulates settings of the waves, sea bed and the underwater world through the deployment of warm shades of blue and patterned mosaic.
Looking forward: value-added services and large cruise liners
Cruise passenger numbers are expected to hit 1.5 million in three to five years according to Second Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran. In addition, new and varied product offerings for cruise passengers can be expected such as cruise-fly packages aimed at making it more seamless for passengers to connect to the airport facilitated by the terminal's access to the airport.
Celebrity Millennium, operated by Celebrity Cruises, will homeport out of Singapore for the first time later this year and is expected to make 10 ship calls during the 2012/2013 season. Another cruise operator, Costa Cruises, will also be deploying a second ship, Costa Atlantica, to join Costa Victoria in Singapore from May 2013. Other cruise lines like Holland American Line’s Zaandam and Seabourn Cruises’ Seabourn Quest are also expected to make maiden calls to Singapore.