Middle East Cruise News

Istanbul’s redeveloped Galataport has more than 50 ship calls booked for 2020

The redevelopment of Istanbul’s Galataport cruise ship terminal is due for completion in March, 2020, with more than 50 cruise ship calls already booked and officials anticipating an initial season of more than 1.5-million cruise tourists.

“The number of confirmed ship reservations for 2020 for the moment has exceeded 50. The majority of these reservations are homeport reservations, which shows that the cruise lines chose Galataport as the main port,” says Figen Ayan, Vice President of Cruise Operation of Galataport Istanbul Port Management and Investments Inc.

Galataport will include residential and retail developments

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“This development is of great importance for the tourism of our country and Istanbul,” he added. “The cruise companies that have made reservations so far include Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean — the top two cruise lines in the world.”

In addition, Holland America Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Celestial Cruises, Le Ponant, Silversea, Fred Olsen Cruises, Marella Cruises and Windstar have also scheduled turnaround port calls at the new cruise terminal.

The project was first launched in 2013, but has faced several delays after political crisis forced cruise lines to pull out of Turkey.

It involved the complete rebuilding and redevelopment of Istanbul’s historic, but sadly run down Salipazar port and cruise terminal and its surroundings.

The new cruise terminal will sit alongside a 980-metre quay, enabling it to handle the equivalent of three of Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis-class vessels simultaneously, or around 15,000 passengers a day.

The surrounding 1.2-kilometre coastline will feature a 52,000 sqm retail complex with 250 cafes, restaurants and shops, and 43,000 sqm of leasable office space well as underground parking for up to 2,300 vehicles.

The new cruise terminal will welcome more than 1.5-million cruise tourists in 2020 say officials

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This is expected to attract a further 1.5-million tourists, bringing the redeveloped areas’ total to 3-million per year.

The project also involves extensive renovation and landscaping of a further 30,000 sqm of the historic Tophane district adjacent to the port.

This will include the restoration of a number of existing historic quayside buildings, some of which are being converted into a 177-room luxury hotel, and the creation further inland of a new 14,000 sqm “Tophane Square”.

It will also see the welcome return of the ground-breaking Istanbul Modern art gallery, opened in 2004 in a then disused maritime warehouse and moved to temporary premises nearby two years ago, pending the completion of Galataport.

“This unique coastline, which has been closed to access for nearly 200 years, will be opened to the use of Istanbulites and visitors of the city with this plan,” said Erdem Tavas, CEO of Galataport Istanbul Port Management and Investments Inc.

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