Marine and Port Development

    Stride Treglown is at the forefront of cruise terminal design

    Having a specialist team in this sector for over 20 years, we have been involved in developing numerous port related facilities, including four cruise terminals for Carnival and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and three smaller ferry terminals in the past 18 months alone.

    The UK cruise industry has experienced phenomenal growth in the past 10 years, primarily driven by the popularity of turnaround cruises starting and finishing in the UK. Major global cruise companies such as Royal Caribbean have entered the UK market and cruise ships have increased in size, year on year.

    This growth in cruise ship size can readily be seen by a quick look at City Cruise Terminal in Southampton, which was originally designed in 2002 for cruise ships no larger than 800 passengers, such as Black Watch operated by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines. A few years later the terminal was extended to cater for ships with a capacity of 1,750 passengers, extended again to cater for ships with a capacity of 3,750 passengers and currently can handle 5,000 passenger ships, such as Anthem of the Seas.

    The design process, and recommendation must allow flexibility, with the ability to respond to changes in cruise line operating preferences. Borne from experience, the team at Stride Treglown know that the impact of switching the order of check-in and security needs to be fully assessed at the outset. The recent advent of online checking-in has had a significant impact on time spent in the terminal and currently the ‘record’ in one of the Southampton terminals for a passenger moving from ‘kerbside’ to ship is just under 4 minutes.

    Stride Treglown’s expertise in architecture is supplemented by its detailed knowledge of the security and legislative requirements for cruise terminal design, coupled with an analytical approach to passenger flows and servicing of vessels. The increase in passenger numbers is set against a background of ever increasing security measures. Stride Treglown undertake a flow analysis to balance time, cost and spatial requirements with the desire of the cruise lines to enhance the passengers’ check-in experience by allowing them to board in the shortest possible time.

    Part of the skills and experience held within Stride Treglown relate to all aspects of a terminal building. Our Ports team are well used to dealing with the large tidal range around UK waters and the corresponding impact upon ship-to-shore movement of passengers, crew and ship’s stores

    Part of the skills and experience held within Stride Treglown relate to all aspects of a terminal building. Our Ports team are well used to dealing with the large tidal range around UK waters and the corresponding impact upon ship-to-shore movement of passengers, crew and ship’s stores. Data is held on many of the cruise ships operating around the world with regards position and heights for connections, whether this is by static gangways or air bridges and the critical link between the variety of ships and shore are factored in to an early part of the design.

    A key aspect of terminal design and the user experience is driven by the ease by which passengers and family can access the building by public transport, coaches, taxis and private cars with provision for well-defined and signed drop-off zones and parking.

    The appreciation of the wider interface with a terminal building is ingrained within Stride Treglown. We offer bespoke advice, internally and through collaboration, relating to external circulation, coach and car drop-off, parking, baggage handling and the terminal’s connectivity with its wider location. Alternative uses are also considered.

    Cruise terminals are unusual buildings.  Sited in docks and generally well away from town centres, they typically are unused for a number of days until the next cruise visit. On a ‘turn around’ cruise day, the terminal building is ‘switched on’ very early in the day, the ship arrives (by 7.00am), passengers disembark between about 8.00am and 10.30am and there is then a brief ‘lull’.  Embarkation typically commences around 11.00am, finishing by 4.00pm, with the ship sailing at about 5.00pm. The terminal building is then ‘switched off’.

    With such an intermittent use pattern, it important to find alternative uses for cruise terminal buildings on non-cruise days, in order to improve their financial viability. Whilst baggage halls, X-Ray areas etc. cannot realistically be used for any other purpose, the waiting lounges, café areas, toilets etc. are often used for small conferences, seminars or even as party venues.