The Faroese Port of Torshavn is investing around DKK500 mill to develop three more quays and to build a passenger terminal.
This project, which has been in the planning stage for nine years and has received the required permits – is almost complete with just 70 m of quayside still to come.
Harbour Master, Andrias Vang, said: “We expect the whole project to be concluded and handed over this autumn.”
Able to accommodate both cargo and cruise ships, the project will mean that ships will no longer share a single quay. Large cruise ships will now be able to berth alongside the existing 300 m long quay, which has a depth of 9 m.
By extending the width of this pier, a terminal can be built, which will be able to accommodate 800 pax.
This will also cater to the regular ferry berthed on the new 300 m outer quay (depth 14.5 m) and will also be accessible from the existing inner quay.
At present, passengers are taken by shuttle bus to a ferry terminal elsewhere, but the new terminal will result in just a 10 min walk into the city centre. The immigration and passport control authorities will also be housed at the terminal.
“We are looking forward to the new terminal, which we hope will be ready for the 2024 cruise season. It will be super smooth, back and forth, and when passengers walk out the other side of the building, they will be outside the ISPS area and in the city,” Vang explained to local press, as reported by Cruise Europe.
Waste discharge at the quay will be undertaken by truck and a freshwater pipeline connection is already in place. In preparation for onshore power, Vang said that pipes have been built into the new quayside with plans to extend them to the existing (cruise) pier in the future.
He explained: “The cables are not there yet, but we are working with a power supply company in the Faroes about how we can continue. It is in our plans to have shore power available. There is no timeline at present but we are continuously ongoing in the planning phase.”
The two further quays are 175 m and 400 m in length with a water depth of 14.5-15 m.
This year, 53 cruise ship calls were booked but 17 were cancelled thus far. Some due to extreme weather and others were believed to be due to cruise lines changing itineraries.
Next year about 50 calls are scheduled thus far.
Geographically, the Faroe Islands lie between the European mainland and the UK and Iceland, which makes Torshavn a convenient stopover.
Vang said: “We prioritise cruise. We really hope and do our utmost to make the cruise lines feel welcome and offer a facility that is what they need.”
Although the port will now be able to accommodate two large cruise ships, he is aware that there may be limitations. “We cannot fill up the harbour with cruise vessels and expect someone else to take over. We are a small country. So far the tour operators can manage.
“We will continue to use the quayside we have now but we will have more availability. We will now be able to facilitate every vessel going forward. Cruise lines will not see refusals from us because of being congested.
“Going forward it will be a cruise facility. At the moment it is a cargo harbour taking in cruise ships,” he said.