Two new terminal buildings opened at the Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal, Shanghai

Early on the morning of April 2, 2017, AIDAbella was the first ship of the AIDA fleet to sail past Shanghai's famous skylineThe new buildings cover a total of 55,000 square meters and allow the port in Baoshan District to receive some 6 million passengers annually, more than double the number it welcomed in 2017.

The terminal’s dock has also been extended to 1.6 kilometers along the Yangtze River, up from its original 770 meters, enabling four cruise liners of over 150,000 tons to berth at the port simultaneously.

Three liners — the MSC Splendida, the Majestic Princess and Norwegian Joy — was docked together at the terminal on the last July 13rd, with about 13,000 passengers.

This was the first time three large cruise ships berth at the terminal at the same time, said Gu Huiquan, general manager with the terminal’s operating company. Hosting so many ships simultaneously requires not only adequate facilities, but also top-notch management and service capabilities, explained Gu.

After the expansion, the terminal will be able to receive 1,000 cruise liners annually, more than doubling its current capacity, the Baoshan District government said yesterday.

The Wusongkou terminal is Asia’s top cruise liner port by passenger volume, and in 2016 it surpassed Barcelona to become the world’s fourth most active passenger port.

The district government launched the expansion project in June 2015 with a total investment of nearly 1 billion yuan (US$150 million) amid rising demand from domestic cruise passengers.

Shanghai received 466 cruise ships and nearly 3 million passengers last year, accounting for nearly 60 percent of China’s total cruise liner passengers.

After the opening of the new terminals, the existing terminal building, called the “Oriental Eye” because of its round shape, will undergo a major renovation and be converted into a commercial complex with dining and shopping options for passengers, Gu said.

The new terminal buildings, located on either side of existing terminal, have three stories to include space for customs, security checks, quarantine, ticketing counters and duty-free shops.

To serve the growing number of passengers to the terminal at the mouth of the Yangtze River, the district’s transport authority has been building new thoroughfares and expanding nearby roads, said Lei Hong, deputy director of the Baoshan transport committee.