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New cruise terminal under construction at Pusan


A new cruise terminal is under construction at the South Korean port of Busan(aka Pusan). Over 300 people attended the ground-breaking ceremony earlier this week including Seoung Jin, Kim, minister of maritime affairs and fisheries (MOMAF) and Nam Sik, Heo, mayor of Busan Metropolitan City.

Busan Port Authority(BPA) is injecting $5.6m into the dedicated cruise terminal which should be completed by the end of this year. The two-storey building, covering 2,212sq mtr floor space, will include an immigration centre, shopping mall, offices and other facilities. Three years ago work began on a new 360mtr long by 50mtr wide cruise pier which will also be completed by the end of this year to coincide with the terminal’s opening.

Since Busan hosted some World Cup soccer matches and the Asian Games in 2002, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in 2005, the city has been emerging as a tourist destination attracting a number of cruise ships but with the absence of a dedicated cruise terminal, there has been difficuities associated with embarkation and diembarkation, says the port authority.

Min Sik, Cha from BPA’s operations and planning team said ‘so far many cruise passengers have had difficulties when getting on and off at the general shipping piers,’ added the opening of the international cruise terminal will hopefully attract more international cruise operators to call.

In 2005, 29 cruise ships with 24,852 passengers called at the South Korean port, up from 22 ships and 9,930 passengers in 2002, illustrating cruise traffic is on the increase.

Busan is located in the southeastern region of Korea, and is Korea’s second largest city and largest port. Busan has a mild climate and was selected in 2000 by Asia Week as one of the ten best cities to live in Asia. There are about 100 cultural facilities in the city, which include 25 theatres, 13 museums, 58 galleries and 3 art museums.

Nearby Haeundae beach is the largest beach in Korea and attracts over eight million visitors each summer. As one would expect from a sea port Busan is Korea’s seafood mecca with numerous seafood restaurants and a bustling seafood market.