Viana do Castelo (Portugal)

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Viana do Castelo cruise port

Western Europe - Azores - Canary Islands

Local Time
2024-02-28 17:20

min: 48 °F (9 °C) / max: 60 °F (16 °C) 55°F
Wind: 331°/ 3.8 m/s  Gust: 5.5 m/sWind: 331°/ 3.8 m/s  Gust: 5.5 m/sGentle breeze
3.8 m/s
Min / Max Temperature60 °F / 16 °C
48 °F / 9 °C
  Port Map

Viana do Castelo is an Atlantic European port city in Portugal's Norte Region (Regiao do Norte) with population around 40,000 (municipality population around 90,000). Viana do Castelo is located at the mouth of Lima River and is also on Caminho Portugues (Portuguese Way) which is the alternative path of the pilgrimage route Camino de Santiago (aka Way of St James).

The settlement dates back to the 13th century and was initially named "Viana da Foz do Lima". By the 16th century, the town developed a major seaport from where departed most of the Portuguese ships bound to worldwide voyages and discoveries. Many of the city's historical buildings and public spaces are from this period. To repel Galicia's and Africa's pirates, for the port's protection were built defensive structures. The shipping trade (mainly with northern Europe) included exports (wine, fruits, salt) and imports (mainly textiles, tile, glass). The town's peak was during Queen Maria II of Portugal (1819-53), aka "the Educator") who in 1852 established the Viana do Castelo Commercial Association (Portugal's 4th oldest publicly-traded company). The town was granted city status in 1848.

The city's current economy continues to be based on its seaport's activities, including the ENVC shipyard (Estaleiros da Viana do Castelo/WestSea) which has shipbuilding capabilities and modern ship repair facilities. The city's best-known tourist attractions include Pacos do Conselho (16th-century palace), Palacio de Tavoras (16th-century palace), Renaissance-style fountains, Igreja Matriz de Viana do Castelo (17th-century cathedral), 16th-century churches and chapels (Igreja de Sao Domingos, Igreja da Misericordia).

ENVC/WestSEA Shipyard (Viana do Castelo)

ENVC (Estaleiros Navais de Viana do Castelo) was opened in 1944 as a privately-owned shipyard. It was state-owned (between 1975-2013), occupies an area of 0,4 km2 (40 hectares) and employs 1200+ people.

The yard specializes in shipbuilding (container ships, ferries, oil tankers, chemical tankers, bulk carriers, barges, tugboats, fishing boats, naval ships/mainly patrol boats) and ship repairs (including Portuguese Navy ships).

The shipyard "West Sea Estaleiros Navais" was officially founded (acquired and renamed) in 2013 and currently owned by Martifer Group (1990-founded multinational corporation) specializing in metal construction, renewable energies (wind farms, solar panels production, photovoltaic systems, hydropower), biofuels (extraction of vegetable oil and biodiesel production).

  • Martifer Group is part of Martifer SGPS SA (Group's holding company).
  • Martifer Group is a family-owned holding company founded in 1990 (by the brothers Carlos and Jorge Martins), headquartered in Oliveira de Frades (Portugal) and Euronext Lisbon (stock exchange) listed since 2007. Martifer Group has 3000+ employees and specializes in metal construction and (since 2004) in renewable energy (wind and solar energy equipment production).
  • Martifer Group is one of Europe's largest metal construction companies, with subsidiaries in Spain, Germany, Poland, Romania, Czechia, Slovakia, also in the USA, Brazil, Angola.

WestSea Shipyard has capacity to drydock ships with max LOA length 190 m (623 ft) and max-width 29 m (95 ft). The yard's infrastructure, facilities and equipment include 16x buildings, 1x drydock (203x32 m / 666x105 ft), 1x drydock (127x18 m / 417x59 ft), an outdoor construction yard (140x30 m / 459x98 ft), 2x quays (190 m each), 1x slipway (120x40 m / 394x131 ft), 8x cranes (load capacity 10-100 tons).

WestSea yard's main current businesses are ship conversions (drydock refit projects) and repairs. At WestSEA Shipyard are constructed most of the Douro River-deployed cruise ships - including Douro Spirit, Douro Queen, Douro Elegance, Douro Princess, Douro Cruiser, Douro Prince, Douro Splendour, Douro Serenity, Emerald Radiance, Viking Osfrid, Viking Helgrim, Scenic Azure, AmaVida, AmaDouro, Arosa Alva.

At WestSea were also built the cruise ships MS Spitsbergen (owned by Hurtigruten) and all the Mystic Cruises-owned ocean ships (World Discoverer, World Traveller, World Voyager, World Navigator, World Adventurer, World Seeker, World Explorer).

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