More than a year after it was announced, construction of Singapore’s new International Cruise Terminal (ICT) at Marina South began last week.
The first purpose-built cruise terminal will complement the existing Singapore Cruise Centre at the Southern Waterfront district and will double the berth capacity of the city-state to handle more cruise ships. This ties in with Singapore’s goal to become a leading regional cruise hub in Asia. The new terminal is expected to be completed by the end of 2011.
“Singapore’s cruise passenger throughput has grown steadily, registering a healthy average annual growth rate of 12 percent between 2003 and 2008,” said Aw Kah Peng, chief executive of the Singapore Tourism Board.
She noted that the industry has been resilient in the face of economic downturn with 20 percent growth – approximately 540,000 in passenger arrivals – in the first half of this year compared with the same period in 2008. It is projected that Singapore will reach the one million-cruise passenger mark by year-end.
Based on latest figures from the Singapore Cruise Centre, more than 1,000 ships visited the city last year, bringing more than 920,000 passengers from Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
“The Asian cruise industry is at the cusp of significant growth, and the opportunities for the region and Singapore are tremendous,” said Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore minister for trade and industry. “The ICT will be a strategic enabler to achieve Singapore’s aspiration to be a cruise hub of Asia and gateway to the region.”
ICT’s location at Marina South is the city’s new lifestyle and financial hub that is home to Singapore’s latest attractions such as the Singapore Flyer and Marina Barrage and future ones such as Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands.