Cruising Review

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Scientific Journals

Maritime University of Szczecin

2013, 36(108) z. 1 pp. 168–176 ISSN 1733-8670

Safety assessment for a cruise ship terminal

Peter Vidmar, Marko Perkovic, Tanja Brcko

University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Maritime Studies and Transport 6320 Portorož, Pot Pomorščakov 4, Slovenia

Key words: cruise ships, safety assessment, degree of risk, hazards, ship terminal


Cruise ships arriving in the port of Koper carry approximately 1000 to 3000 passengers and crew members. Such a concentration of people presents a high degree of risk in the event of a major disaster, because it is dif- ficult to control, due to limited space, the dynamics of people in the event of a general panic, the presence of large amounts of fuel, proximity of the city center and other vessels and cargo at the port.

To avoid the possibility of hazard events, a good safety assessment must be done prior to a ship’s arrival. One of the methodologies for systematically assessing the risk is a Formal Safety Assessment, a tool for determing and evaluating the risk of potential hazards at a cruise ship terminal. This paper discusses the diverse aspects of safety analysis.


Cruising is an important element of maritime commerce, as it is on the cruise ship where tourism and transport come together [1]. Cruises also ap- pear to be gaining in popularity; in 1999 cruise ships carried almost 9 million passengers, while in 2006 at least 17 million passengers took vacations on cruise ships. In Slovenia’s port of Koper authori- ties are struggling with the need to adapt to the growing cruise ship trade, which includes the need to accept larger ships. Safety analysis is also neces- sary, for while in general cruising offers a safe va- cation and has a good overall safety record, hazards do exist: from fire, collision, and grounding.

While the international shipping community has long been concerned with maritime safety, in the last decade or so the safety of cruise ship has be- come more of a concern. Cruise ships are not only subject to various local, national and international rules and requirements relevant for safe operation and construction, they must also comply with the safety standards set by the International Mari- time Organization (IMO) enforced through the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).

The Formal Safety Assessment (FSA) is a tool for risk evaluation developed by IMO to enhance

the safety of ships, passengers and crews, and the environment. The FSA uses five steps: hazard iden- tification (HAZID), risk assessment, risk control options, cost benefit assessment and decision- making recommendations. Its goal is a systematic approach to safety in all aspects regarding particu- lar vessels. This paper examines the FSA in relation to a cruise terminal and the existing safety plan of a cargo seaport.

We should add that the US Coast Guard and Passenger Vessel Association published a manual for safety risk assessment of passenger ships at sea and in ports (PVA Risk Guide – A Guide to Im- proving the Safety of Passenger Vessel Operations by Addressing Risk). This manual helps improve the process of risk (hazard) identification, to plan how to reduce risk levels and protect ship or ports from possible hazards. It is a tool which could be adapted for different operations or environments where risk assessment is needed. They divided risk handling activities (risk assessment, risk manage- ment and risk communication) into ten steps: prob- lem definition, expert gathering, hazard identifica- tion, probability assignment, consequence assign- ment, calculation of relative risk, development of counter measures, estimation of benefit, estimation of cost and cost-benefit analysis [2].


Scientific Journals 36(108) z. 1

Zeszyty Naukowe

Akademia Morska w Szczecinie

2013, 36(108) z. 1 s. 168–176

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