Voyager of the Seas – first cruise vessel at the new quayside


On Sunday 29th May, the Voyager of the Seas with 3,363 passengers and a crew of some 1,500 aboard became the largest cruise ship ever to berth at the Port of Koper . It is also the first vessel to be moored alongside the newly rebuilt and additionally dredged Passenger Terminal facility adjacent Koper’s historic city centre. Luka Koper commenced renovation of 420 metres of the port’s oldest quayside in February, and the works have included dredging the approach channels through the basin and the berths to a depth of 8.5 metres and 10 metres, as well as the reconstruction of the quayside wall, including four new bollards with higher bearing capacities, the replacement of three buffers and the installation of anchoring points. The complete turn-key project, from planning to implementation, was performed by the Primorje company from Ajdovščina, whose services were selected by way of a public tender. The total contract value amounted to 1.59 million euros. 

The Voyager of the Seas is one of a fleet of 40 cruise ships owned by the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, making it the second largest in the world. Built in 1999, the 311-metre long and 63-metre high Voyager of the Seas has 15 decks, 1,557 cabins and can accommodate up to 3,835 passengers. Tourists aboard are attended by 1,100 staff and are provided all sorts of recreation and entertainment. In addition to a number of swimming pools, this vessel offers ice and roller skating rinks, golf, basketball, a climbing wall, fitness centre, casino as well as a number of bars and restaurants. Guests arrive aboard in Venice, and ports of call include Koper, Ravenna, Bari and Dubrovnik ; the Voyager of the Seas is to call at Koper a further nineteen times this season. 

Koper Municipality has paid special attention to the arrival of this, the largest vessel in the history of the Koper Passenger Terminal. Further to traditional souvenirs, a traditional Koper welcome included an accordionist, a Lipizzaner-drawn carriage, as well as typical Istrian products and dishes; an entertainment event, especially organised for this occasion, presented local life, culture and traditional produce, food and drink. Two small trains were made freely available for guests all day long, and upon leaving, the ship shall be sent on its way by Koper Brass Orchestra. 

This year, a total of eighty cruise vessels with over 120,000 passengers are expected to call at Koper. As last year, the Arion will be a regular visitor as Koper is its home port. The Thomson Spirit shall call every second Monday, whilst Seaborn Spirit catering for the most discerning guests will call at the port 16-times. In July, a new vessel the Costa Favolosa (of the Costa Crociere line) with nearly 4,000 passengers aboard will call at Koper on the second day of its maiden cruise. The 2011 cruise season shall close in early December.