Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore plans for growth


Singapore’s flagship cruise ship hub announces a “Smart Terminal Solution” to
cope with increasing cruise arrivals. Rebecca Wong reports.

Singapore’s flagship cruise terminal, Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore (MBCCS), is to build
a “Smart Terminal Solution” to accommodate the growing number of passenger and ship

The Southeast Asian region is projected to see up to 4.5 million cruise passengers by 2035.
Singapore has seen a substantial peak in cruise arrivals in 2017.

“We experienced an increase of 31% ship calls and 51% passengers handled last year,” noted
Mr Lionel Wong, Chief Executive Officer of MBCCS. “This significant growth in cruise travel is
expected to continue. Augmenting our processes with technology will help us manage the
increased volume more efficiently and provide a pleasant, seamless travel experience for our

The Smart Terminal Solution is the first of its kind in Asia, and is aimed at enhancing MBCCS’s
responsiveness. This will be done through the use of smart sensors, video analytics and a
central command-and-control system to manage big data.

The terminal will offer:

  • Better resource planning: The utilization of information on passenger demographics,
    length of sailing and home porting to service ship calls better, with the help of predictive
  • Improved visitor experience: During peak periods, video analytics will enable system-
    assisted decision-making. Sensors will also be placed at strategic locations like check-in
    terminals and the baggage handling area, providing real-time monitoring of traffic
    conditions and passenger flows to detect congestions.
  • Quicker response to incident management: Software applications will allow operations
    staff to upload pictures, and create a simplified incident-related fact report via their
    mobile phones. This enables swift investigation by Command Centre staff.
    Improved accuracy for baggage tagging: The scanning of passports will be introduced to
    facilitate accurate tagging of baggage.
  • Enhanced surveillance and situational awareness: The terminal will be mapped for quick
    access to ‘live CCTV footage’, enabling swift responses to situations.
    Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, has approved
    the new initiative.

“The use of smart sensors and data analytics to enhance operations at Singapore’s ports and
cruise terminal facilities will not only contribute to better operational efficiencies but also
enhance the level of security,” he said.

MBCCS currently has a finger pier comprising two berths. It can dock ships of up to 220,000
gross register tonnage, and is able to handle 6,800 passengers at any time in its halls and
ground transportation area. No plans have been announced for a physical expansion of the

Speaking to ASEAN Cruise News, Mr Chew Tiong Heng, Executive Director, Infrastructure
Planning and Management at Singapore Tourism Board, said, “As the cruise industry is still
nascent in the region, Singapore is well-positioned to harness the growth potential as a leading
homeport and cruise hub. In this respect, STB continues to plan ahead, together with industry
stakeholders, to ensure that our cruise infrastructure is future-ready in both the medium and
long term.”