The Port of Gdansk at the largest maritime tourism fair in the world
The Port of Gdansk presented its offer at the Seatrade Cruise Global fair, which took place on 14-16 March 2017 in Fort Lauderdale (USA). It is the largest maritime tourism trade fair in the world, which has been organised for more than 30 years now. During the visit to Florida, the Port of Gdansk Authority also signed a letter of intent with PortMiami, concerning cooperation and the establishment of so-called sister port status.
The Seatrade Cruise Global fair is organised annually not only in the United States, but also in Asia, Northern Europe, Mediterranean Europe and the Middle East. Just like every year, the fair's exhibitors included representatives of major global passenger shipowners, tour operators, passenger ship equipment companies, cruise organisers for the tourism industry, seaports and many more. Fort Lauderdale, where this year's fair was held, is situated in the south-eastern part of Florida, which is the tourism and cruise industry hub in the United States.
The Port of Gdansk also presented its offer at the fair. For some time now, it has been particularly valued by the maritime tourism industry due to the huge tourist potential of the region and the high quality of passenger vessel handling services. As a reminder, this year's cruise season will be especially fruitful for the Port of Gdansk. We expect that in 2017, as many as 67 passenger ships will call at the port, which is more than twice as many as last year.
Gdansk's presence at the largest cruise fair in the world was therefore a natural consequence of such a high degree of interest within the industry. During the fair, members of the delegation of the Port of Gdansk Authority SA, led by the PGA President Lukasz Greinke, had the chance to meet representatives of the leading passenger shipowners, such as Crystal Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Saga Shipping, Carnival Cruise Line and Disney Cruises. The port's stand was visited by a representative of Viking Cruises - a company whose ships will call at Gdansk as many as 22 times this season.
The port's invitation was also accepted by one of Germany's major port operators, Sartori & Berger, which has 19 branch offices in German ports and two in Poland, in Gdansk and Szczecin. The company, which has been operating in Poland for two years now, has a considerable influence on the increase of the importance of the Port of Gdansk, particularly in the cruise industry. In the coming season, Sartori & Berger will provide agency services for all the Viking Cruises ships calling at the Port of Gdansk.
In Florida, the Port of Gdansk's delegation also visited the nearby PortMiami, whose activity includes mainly container transshipments and passenger ship handling. Representatives of both ports signed a letter of intent on 16 March 2017. The parties declared their intention to take action aimed at increasing the exchange of goods between the ports, strengthening their relations and taking up activities serving mutual promotion. The document also establishes so-called sister port status between the Port of Gdansk and PortMiami. During the signing ceremony, representatives of the Polish community in Florida were also present. They emphasised that attempts at concluding the sister agreement between the two ports had lasted over four years, but for various reasons the agreement could not be finalised. Now, the boards of both ports decided to sign and implement it as of 16 March 2017.