Carnival Corporation opens new Helix Cruise Center in Barcelona

Carnival Corporation opens new Helix Cruise Center in Barcelona
A look at the interior of the new passenger terminal (Image: Port of Barcelona)

Carnival Corporation has officially inaugurated its second cruise terminal at the Port of Barcelona in Spain.

During the ceremony, Carnival Corporation named the new €46 million, 12,500-square-metre facility the Helix Cruise Center. The ceremony was attended by Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation; Julio Gómez-Pomar Rodríguez, secretary of state for infrastructures, transport and housing for the government of Spain; Enric Millo, government delegate in Catalonia; Ricard Font, secretary of infrastructure and mobility for the government of Catalonia; Agustí Colom, councillor of tourism, commerce and markets for the Barcelona City Council; Jose Llorca, chairman of Puertos del Estado; and Sixte Cambra, president of the Port of Barcelona.

“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 at Carnival Corporation. “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 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.”

Designed by Catalan architecture firm Batlle i Roig Arquitectura, the new terminal is located on the port’s Adossat wharf and was built with the help of Static Engineering and PGI Engineering. The project also involved 150 locals from contracting firms, such as excavation firm Vopi 4, construction engineering company Elecnor, Project Facilities Management, gangway manufacturer Adelte, and specialist seat manufacturer Figueras International Seating, which designed a new bench for the terminal.

The Helix Cruise Center is the largest cruise terminal in Europe and will be used as both a port of call and a homeport by ships in eight of Carnival Corporation’s nine global cruise brands – AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn and P&O Cruises UK. Six of these eight brands will operate full or partial homeporting in Barcelona in 2018. The facility will also be able to cater for the nine fully LNG-powered cruise ships Carnival Corporation will be adding to four of its brands over the next few years.

Soon, the port will open its first public car park, which will have almost 300 spaces for cruise guests’ vehicles.

“We have a long history of working with Carnival Corporation and its cruise line brands,” said Cambra. “We appreciate their strong commitment to our great port, city and region, and we are excited about the new Helix Cruise Center, 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.”

Carnival Corporation has already scheduled 289 calls by 38 different ships at the Helix terminal and its existing Palacruceros terminal this year. It expects to handle more than one million passenger movements annually.

“In a city and region known for its inspiring and beautiful architecture, it is exciting to have Carnival Corporation’s stunning Helix Cruise Center grace the Port of Barcelona as our newest landmark,” said Font. “We appreciate Carnival Corporation having such a positive impact on our local economy and employment and for making such a significant investment in our region – the company’s commitment underscores our shared enthusiasm that Barcelona will always be one of the top destinations in the world.”

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
Wednesday, May 9, 2018