Although still set to be inaugurated in March 2020 and begin operating at full capacity in 2021, Istanbul's Galataport has already begun receiving bookings from cruise liners seeking to drop passengers off in Istanbul's cultural heart.
While 60 cruisers booked the port for the next year, 170 vessels have already reserved Istanbul’s new port for 2021, General Manager Erdem Tavas said. These initial figures are highly important for a port that is preparing for inauguration, he noted.
Galataport expects to welcome 1.5 million cruise tourists to Istanbul. The port has a capacity to host around 25 million visitors per year, including 7 million foreigners. The estimated revenues from the increasing number of tourists are expected to come to around $1 billion.
“The project will revive economic activity in the Karaköy district and is wholly dedicated to commerce,” Tavas said.
Work is ongoing for the port project, which will be located on the shore along Istanbul's central Karaköy district. The area is set to host a number of arts centers, a world-class cruise terminal, hotels, and various boutiques, cafes and restaurants, along with office spaces. The terminal includes a port space capable of providing services for the world's largest vessels, a passport terminal, check-in areas and large-scale waiting rooms.
“The project consists of 43,000 square meters of office area and 51,000 square meters of retail shopping area. Local and foreign brands will fill these areas with new concepts,” the Galataport general manager said, adding that the exclusive Hong Kong-based Peninsula Hotel chain, which has only 10 hotels around the world, was already planning to make an investment of 300 million euros in a new hotel at the Galataport.
Galataport is jointly being built by Turkey's Doğuş Group and Bilgili Holding with an investment of $1.7 billion. It is dubbed one of the world's largest coastal projects, aiming to become one of the top cruise destinations in the world.