A rendering of the new Shinko Pier (Image: Port of Yokohama Promotion Association)
Japan’s Port of Yokohama is to welcome a total of 190 cruise ships – in 2019 – a 25% increase from 2018.
Yokohama, which already operates the Osanbashi International Passenger Terminal, will open two new cruise piers this year – Daikoku in April and Shinko in November. This will enable the port to accommodate seven ships at the same time and make the port the largest cruise facility in Japan.
Daikoku will primarily handle freight vessels, but it will also be used for larger cruise ships, such as Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2. The five-storey Shinko Pier, also known as Yokohama Pier 9, will be dedicated exclusively to cruise ships. The first floor of the 30,290-square-metre terminal building will have customs, immigration and quarantine facilities; convenience stores; various food and beverage outlets; entertainment facilities; and a hotel.
Shinko Pier will also be home to a new five-star hotel, which will be operated by Yokohama Grand Intercontinental. Cruise passengers will be able to check-in for their cruise at the hotel and then be escorted onboard their ship. They will also be able to travel door-to-door between the hotel and the airport with using the airport limousine service. Meanwhile, the land adjacent to the new Shinko pier terminal will be developed into Hammerhead Park and Promenade, which will Yokohama's first quay crane, installed in 1914.
Carnival Corporation has preferential berthing rights at Shinko and is expected to use it for more than 80 vessels annually. Other cruise lines have also scheduled one or two calls, including Azamara Club Cruises, MC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International and Windstar Cruises Around 400,000 cruise passengers are expected to pass through the terminal every year.
Other highlights of the 2019 season will include a four-ship call on 27 April, when Azamara Club Cruises’ Azamara Quest, MSC Cruises’ MSC Splendida, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Jewel and Princess Cruises’ Diamond Princess bring a total of 10,000 guests to Yokohama. The first two vessels will dock at Daikoku Pier, while Norwegian Jewel will berth at Yamashita Pier and Diamond Princess will call at Osanbashi Pier.
While in Yokohama, cruise guests can head to the Minato Mirai (‘port of the future’) area, which offers shopping and dining venues; various museums; Yamashita Park; Yokohama Cosmo World amusement park; Yokohama Minatomirai Manyo Club Onsen day spa and relaxation centre with natural hot spring baths. Other attractions in the Minato Mirai area include the PACIFICO Yokohama convention centre, Marine & Walk Mall, the Red Brick Warehouse and the World Porters food, shopping and entertainment complex. The Sankeien Garden is also 15 minutes’ drive from the port. In addition, the Skywalk section of the Bay Bridge will also reopen when large ships are docked at Daikoku pier.
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