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Brussels Cruise Terminal announced for 2017

 - ©Port of Brussels

2015-04-24 – The illustrations opposite give a good idea of the Brussels Cruise Terminal, the future river cruise passenger terminal that will be created at Neder-over-Heembeek, on the left bank of the outer port, level with the gatehouses of the former Meudon Castle. The terminal will thus be positioned on the stretch of bank located roughly opposite the Schaerbeek marshalling yard.

The creation of the Brussels Cruise Terminal involves work in three zones.

  • The creation of the pier, with a loading/unloading zone consisting of a pontoon 12 metres wide and 240 metres long at which two to four boats can dock simultaneously (depending on their size, the average being 110 metres long); a footbridge over Chaussée de Vilvorde, connecting the pontoon and Rue du Marly to create a link with Neder-over-Heembeek; and a restaurant operated under licence. 
  • Alterations to the road layout, making it safe for tourists to cross between the pier and the terminal buildings area, located 240 metres from the footbridge and creating a waiting area for coaches along the road.
  • The development of the Meudon gatehouses zone: renovation work, the creation of a garden and construction of a new passenger reception building run by VisitBrussels, to meet the needs of cruise and excursion operators.

The work in the first two zones is scheduled for 2016, and all facilities, including the restaurant, must be operational by early 2017. The development of the third zone is under consideration, but the Brussels Cruise Terminal can enter into use before this zone is developed.

The agreement setting out the arrangements for the creation of this terminal was signed in December 2011 by the Minister of the Brussels-Capital Region in charge of the Port, the chairman of the Port of Brussels, the City of Brussels alderman for urban planning and the City of Brussels alderman for tourism. The goal was to accommodate the increasing number of cruise ships calling at Brussels, reflected in the marked increase in the number of passengers visiting Brussels on cruises. This number rose from 1,200 in 2006 to 10,000 in 2010. By 2030, the terminal could be receiving 35,000 people a year, bringing in 5.2 million euros a year for Brussels and creating around a hundred direct jobs.

Under the 2011 agreement, the Port of Brussels will finance the construction of the pier (2,650,000 euros) and roads (367,050 euros); the City of Brussels will finance the renovation of roads and the renovation and expansion of the Meudon gatehouses (986,729 euros); and the Region, in addition to its contribution through the ‘urban integration’ grant to the Port, will also finance road works (219,901 euros).