Global Ports Holding is counting on good cooperation with Bremerhaven

Global Ports Holding will take over operation of the Columbus Cruise Terminal in Bremerhaven with effect from 2025. The present concession expires at the end of 2024 and this global player came out ahead of the other bidders in the Europe-wide tender. The new contract with GPH will initially run for a term of ten years, with a further five-year option. At today’s joint press conference with Kristina Vogt, Senator for Economic Affairs, Ports and Transformation, and Melf Grantz, Mayor of Bremerhaven, GPH confirmed its commitment to Columbus Cruise Terminal. 

During the press conference, Senator Vogt stated that the cruise terminal is now embarking on a new era: “Bremen has invested around 80 million euros to make Columbus Quay fit for the future and the building work will be completed in the near future. At the same time, there are plans to revitalise the central building and to make shore power available there by 2025. We have made these investments because we realise how important cruise shipping is for Bremerhaven and the role played by the Columbus peninsula in the history of the seaport. We are now setting off into a new era and, in Global Port Holding, we have found a partner that has already proved its professionalism and efficiency as well as its ability to adapt to local requirements at many different locations. Another key criterion was to put cruise shipping on a more sustainable footing and, last but not least, we are delighted that GPH has promised to approach the previous staff.”

Bremerhaven’s Mayor Melf Grantz meanwhile stressed, “The Columbus Quay is a truly historic location: regular liner traffic to the USA was a defining feature of our city until passenger steamers gradually gave way to aeroplanes. But today, we are back in business again at Columbus Quay: in 2022, we had 230,000 passengers and the forecast for this year is as high as 270,000. It was also thanks to the efforts of the previous operator, CCCB, that we achieved these figures and my sincere thanks go to that company for its great commitment. We now plan to build on that excellent starting position with our new partner GPH and write the next chapter in the history of Columbus Cruise Terminal. On behalf of Bremerhaven, let me say: We are really looking forward to working with GPH and we hope that the previous figure of 30,000 overnight stays resulting from the cruise business every year can increase even further. After all, Bremerhaven is always well worth a visit.”

Stephen Xuereb, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Global Ports Holding, stressed: “We may be a global player, but we also act in response to local circumstances. We are well aware that the cruise terminal is an intrinsic part of the life of this port and will act accordingly.” His colleague, GPH Chief Financial Operator Jan Fomferra, added, “As we see it, acting locally means banking on people that come from here to staff the cruise terminal. We will therefore be contacting the previous employees in that respect.”

The company was determined to be a good partner not only for the shipping companies and passengers, but also for the city itself and the local community. “We can only be successful if everyone else is successful, too,” said Xuereb.

Fomferra explained the strategy the global player successfully practises at numerous other ports: “Obviously, every port is different and we tailor our work to suit the local circumstances. We do soon the basis of our worldwide best practice standards, which give us the knowledge and understanding of processes and infrastructure that we need to adapt Bremerhaven’s cruise terminal to meet the demands of a modern industry.”

Stephen Xuereb stated that on taking over the terminal in Bremerhaven, GHP was pursuing a clear goal: “We undertake to ensure the operating efficiency and security of the cruise terminal in Bremerhaven on the basis of our consolidated guidelines, our inhouse berthing software and our strict safety protocols. Moreover, we are confident that we shall be able to raise awareness of Bremerhaven as a cruise destination and attract more passengers to Columbus Quay thanks to our years of experience in the cruise shipping business, our excellent contacts in the cruise industry and our worldwide marketing activities.”

Fomferra explained that there were several reasons for the company’s decision to take on Bremerhaven: “Firstly, the inclusion of Bremerhaven’s cruise terminal in the GPH network is a major step in our strategic expansion into the North European cruise market. Secondly, Bremerhaven’s geographical location is ideal for Scandinavian and Baltic routes, and thirdly, Bremerhaven and Bremen themselves are fantastic destinations: the Havenwelten tourist centre, the Climate Museum, the German Shipping Museum and the German Emigration Centre are already well-established tourist attractions in Bremerhaven.  As a historic Hanseatic city, Bremen also has a great deal for visitors to see and do, from the historic medieval Schnoor district, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Town Hall and Roland Statue, from the art gallery and Universum Science Centre right through to Werder Bremen football team. We are really looking forward to doing business here.”


Share this article: