April 2016 : parade of the cruises ship in Bordeaux port
These last days of April 2016, it was a real parade of cruise ships expected to dock in Bordeaux port of call! The docking of these large vessels or their leaving combined with the lifting of the Jacques Chaban-Delmas Bridge is always a a real show ! This year nearly 50 calls are expected in the port of Bordeaux.
The 2016 season begins with the arrival of the 195 m long cruise ship Braemar and the Minerva of the company Swan Hellenic. For a big part of these expected calls this year, it will be their first call in "the port of the Moon" (Bordeaux); as the Viking star (228 meters long) and its 928 passengers or Austral of the Ponant company, its 142 meters long, its 264 passengers and elegant profile.
I had the pleasure to guide British passengers (mostly) of the liners Braemar and Minerva to discover our beautiful Bordeaux city and the vineyards of Pessac-Léognan with stops and tatsings in Château Olivier and the Chateau Larrivet- Haut-Brion. Then I was glad to welcome future passengers of Austral liner who had to check-in for a pre-trip in the Grand Hotel de Bordeaux before taking possession of their cabins on board. Finally, I witnessed the arrival of Austral ship in the port of Bordeaux Saturday, April 22, 2016 which was joined by the Viking Star docking for 2 days in Bordeaux.
The port of Bordeaux works in partnership with the tourism office, the community of communes in the Médoc, the Chamber of Commerce of Bordeaux, Gironde pilots, shipping agents and tour operators to develop this activity. In 2014, the economic benefits of cruise liners calling in Bordeaux were valued at 3.6 million euros (Sources : 20Minutes, Rue89)
The downside is the impact of these "floating resorts" on air pollution ... Indeed, the liners engines continue to run during the duration of the call for turning electricity, kitchens or air conditioning on board ... and all turns to heavy fuel oil that pollutes much more than our cars. According to France TV, a cruise ship call would pollute as much as one million cars!
Challenged by environmentalists representatives from Bordeaux, the municipality has launched an environmental impact assessment to consider solutions for cruise ships to dock and stopping their engines. The municipality has to consider what is done elsewhere and compare the costs. At this stage, it plans to install power supplies on the docks, or maybe a natural gas supplying system via barges. We should know the results of this file in the coming months. The Marseille port project to solve the problem would have been amounted to nearly 4 million euros. The Bordeaux municipality will pronounce a decision after studying if the cost of such an investisement matches the economic impact of the cruise calls benefits.