'A soft opening' for S.F.'s new cruise ship terminal
The newest dock of the bay - San Francisco's handsome $100 million new cruise ship terminal - opened for business Thursday when giant ship Crown Princess, big as a castle and white as a wedding cake, tied up just after 7 in the morning.
There was no ceremony - Peter Dailey, the port's maritime director, called it "a soft opening" - but the arrival of the Crown Princess was a big deal.
It marked the end of 25 years of sometimes complicated and contentious planning for the Port of San Francisco. The port hopes the Crown Princess will be the first of many cruise ships to dock at the new terminal, each of them bringing money-bearing passengers.
The cruise business has been looking up in San Francisco, Dailey said. This year, there were 73 ship calls with 250,000 passengers, a record. Next year there will be 81 calls, with an anticipated 300,000 passengers.
"We want to make San Francisco the premier cruise port on the West Coast," Daily said.
That is not likely to happen, since Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, are nearer the popular Alaska and Northwest cruise destinations, and Los Angeles is closer to Mexico. Both ports attract more cruise ships.
However, San Francisco's new terminal, all sleek glass and spanking new, is top of the line.
The terminal is not only modern, but the ships dock in the heart of the city right under Telegraph Hill, with San Francisco's famous sights within walking distance.
It has everything a cruise ship might want. It has electric shore power so the ships don't have to run their engines in port, boarding areas with heating and air conditioning, a specially designed $3 million passenger elevator and a ton of other amenities. www.sfgate.com/ba...
Philippines lifts truck ban as Manila port congestion becomes infamous
THE Philippines has lifted a truck ban which in seven months led to major losses for both importers and exporters, created food shortages and increased costs of basic amenities.
Last week, MCC Transport chief commercial officer Naresh Potty told Containerisation International that Manila was the worst-performing of all of Asia’s key ports.
Manila mayor Joseph Estrada lifted the ban, allowing trucks to enter Manila at any time of day. When the ban was imposed in February, trucks were restricted from entering the city from 5am to 9pm Monday to Friday.
This resulted in port congestion because of the limited time trucks could move. Then the ban was applied to rush hour periods from 6am and 10am and from 5pm to 10pm.
The ban was introduced by Mr Estrada following complaints from Manila residents about lengthy traffic jams they blamed on trucks calling at the port