Giant Jewel Vindicates Koper’s Ability to Receive the Largest Passenger Vessels

26.07.2010

Friday 23rd July 2010 marked the greatest single event in the history of Slovenian maritime passenger transport - the arrival of the Norwegian Gem at the Port of Koper . With 2,838 passengers and a crew of 1,080 aboard, the visit of the 294-metre long, 93,530 GRT beauty owned by Norwegian Cruise Line, confirms the Port of Koper ’s maturity in accepting the very largest cruise ships.

The voyages organised by the Norwegian Cruise Line - NCL - are, in particular, renowned for their freestyle concept characterised by a relaxing atmosphere aboard. Today NCL operates eleven liners and holds about eight percent share of world cruising market. The latest vessel in its fleet is even larger – the 329-metre long Norwegian Epic carries 4,100 passengers.
At the official reception, Mr Tomaž Martin Jamnik, Deputy President of Luka Koper Management Board, and Mr Boris Popovič, Mayor of Koper Municipality, went aboard. After a brief tour of the ship, they were received by the captain Frank Juliussen, and all three expressed their satisfaction that the Port of Koper was  ready to accept the largest passenger vessels, and that both the crew as well as the guests were delighted with the new destination.

Marked by three important arrivals, last week has been a very significant one for Koper’s Passenger Terminal. In addition to the Norwegian Gem, Monday saw the visit of the Regent Seven Seas' luxury vessel Seven Seas Mariner, while Sunday will witness the arrival of Pacific Princess operated by Princess Cruises.

The arrival of the Norwegian Gem definitely is a red letter day in the operation of Koper’s Passenger Terminal; it is an event which testifies to the maturity of the Port of Koper and as a tourist destination. The operators of large liners, whose interest in Koper is increasing, exhibit signs of extending the Adriatic cruise season which traditionally starts in April and ends in September. Indeed, at this moment Koper has confirmed arrivals in October and even in November. This year, the port shall receive some 60 passenger vessels that will bring a little less than 40,000 visitors to Koper, whilst the shipowners anticipate even more arrivals and stopovers in in the coming year.