AAPA'S 2008 Cruise Seminar Set for San Francisco, Feb. 5-7

While stories abound about the tidal wave of cargo moving through America's ports, a similar story is unfolding in the cruise industry, which last year saw 9 million U.S. passenger embarkations (a 4.5 percent annual increase) and $35.7 billion in total economic impacts (a 10 percent annual increase). To assist cruise ports in preparing for the challenges ahead, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) will hold its 10th annual Cruise Seminar in San Francisco, Feb. 5-7.

"As the number of people taking cruise vacations continues to rise, so do the challenges that the cruise lines and our member ports face in serving this important market," said Kurt Nagle, AAPA's president and CEO. "The amount of money spent on cruise vacations in this country alone represents a hefty contribution to our annual economy. In 2006, for example, the cruise industry generated some 348,000 U.S. jobs that paid $14.7 billion in wages."

More than 60 percent of AAPA's 160 member ports in the Western Hemisphere have cruise operations. To assist, AAPA works with various cruise associations, federal government agencies and Congress to help its members on issues such as cruise passenger travel documentation, passenger vessel accessibility guidelines, passenger inspection requirements and federal inspection service facility requirements at U.S. ports. AAPA also works on a variety of national and international environmental issues pertaining to the cruise industry, ranging from air emissions reductions to ballast water management.

Highlights of AAPA's 2008 Cruise Seminar include panels of key cruise line and cruise association executives discussing the industry's top challenges; reports on seaport and cruise facility security measures; sessions focusing on expediting the passenger boarding process, alternative cruise terminal financing, itinerary planning, incident planning (including a speaker focusing on pandemic flu) and reducing the environmental impacts of cruise ship operations on the communities they serve. The final session on Feb. 7 will look at alternative uses of cruise terminals for revenue generation.

Additionally, during a luncheon program on the first day of the seminar, AAPA will present its 2008 Cruise Award to Ross Gaudreault, president and CEO of the Québec Port Authority. A pioneer in developing the cruise industry in eastern Canada since 1987, Mr. Gaudreault was at the forefront in establishing AAPA's Cruise Committee and has been an active contributor to the association's cruise workshops. He helped form the St. Lawrence Cruise Association and brought the Port of Québec into the International Council of Cruise Lines as its first Canadian port member.

More information about AAPA's Cruise Seminar is available at www.aapa-ports.org (click on the "Programs & Events" tab) or by calling AAPA's Ed O'Connell at 703-684-5700.

WHO: American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), hosted by Port of San Francisco

WHAT: Seminar covering innovations, challenges, best practices and lessons learned for the port industry to better plan for and accommodate cruise ships and their passengers.

WHEN: Feb. 5-7, 2008 (Day 1, 8:30am - 4:30pm; Day 2, 9am - 3pm; Day 3, 9am - noon)

WHERE: The Stanford Court (A Renaissance Hotel), 905 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94108; tel: (415) 989-3500
The American Association of Port Authorities was founded in 1912 and today represents 160 of the leading public port authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition, the Association represents 335 sustaining and associate members, firms and individuals with an interest in the seaports of the Western Hemisphere. AAPA port members are public entities mandated by law to serve public purposes. Port authorities facilitate waterborne commerce and contribute to local, regional and national economic growth. The benefits of ports are immense for national economies throughout the Western Hemisphere. These ports are gateways to world trade and are a critical component in these nations economic health, national defense, and growing cruise industry. In the U.S., commercial seaport activities provide jobs for 8.4 million Americans, whose earnings and consumption totaled $314.5 billion in 2006.