ship to dock in Red Hook Saturday
A Red Hook cruise ship terminal will not be completed for months, but
on Saturday morning, a transatlantic luxury liner will dock, or at least
make a pit stop, at Pier 12 off Pioneer Street.
The P & O cruise line’s Oriana, a British luxury liner that includes
10 bars, four restaurants, three outdoor pools and a casino, will be arriving
from London and escorted by fireboats. It is expected at the pier between
7 am and 7:30 am on Sept. 24.
An invitation sent out this week by the city’s Economic Development
Corporation encouraged attendees to arrive at the makeshift terminal at
8 am for welcoming remarks by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Borough President
Saturday’s surprise docking is likely intended to provide a public
relations boost to the mayor’s efforts to build a $45 million cruise
ship terminal at Pier 12, which is expected to host Carnival and Norwegian
cruise line ships starting this April. The mayor, who faces former Bronx
Borough President Fernando Ferrer in November’s general election,
has been pushing to phase out shipping on the Red Hook piers and replace
it with the cruise industry and other commercial ventures.
The new terminal, which will largely handle the overflow and relocation
of cruise ships while a $150 million Manhattan berth is being repaired
and renovated, is part of an exclusive agreement between the city and
the two cruise lines.
Both Norwegian and Carnival have promised to use New York City ports exclusively
and pay raised tariff fees through 2017 that would supply $200 million
to the city, in exchange for the 10-year West Side renovation project
in Manhattan. Last year, the city lost Royal Caribbean to a port just
across the harbor from the Red Hook piers, in Bayonne, N.J.
Elected officials, the city, and business groups have promoted the Red
Hook deal touting the figure of 600 new jobs being brought to Brooklyn
by the cruise industry.
The number was obtained using the Queen Mary II cruise liner, at 1,132
feet the largest in the world, as a model for the size of ship and consequent
crew, that would be docking at Pier 12.
Passengers aboard the 853-foot Oriana will not necessarily be disembarking.
The EDC would not answer questions about the ship’s arrival.
The arrival of the industry brings with it the fear of existing maritime
businesses being supplanted by the luxury liners.
Earlier this year, the city forced American Stevedoring Inc. (ASI), a
cargo shipping company, off Pier 11, which is being eyed as a potential
accessway to the new terminal. But this summer, the same pier was advertised
as vacant, and available for interested parties.
With ASI consolidated onto Piers 8-10, the company has said any less would
render its Brooklyn operations useless. But the EDC stated at the October
hearing its hopes down the line to “morph” Piers 10 and 11,
into use exclusively for cruise ships.
Whether that would happen, said EDC Vice President Kate Ascher to council
members, depends on the success of the cruise industry at Pier 12.
©2005 Community News Group