Passenger and Recreational Ports

Passenger and recreational marine spaces include facilities for ferry docking, cruise departures and arrivals, as well as marinas and pleasure crafting.

Increased investment in commercial waterside developments showcases how the modern-day maritime sector is an important driver of local and global economic growth. Recreational use of the marine space needs to be carefully managed to avoid conflict with commercial and military operations. This requires an understanding of the drivers, requirements, and limitations of all sectors involved.

Putting Our Experience to Work 

Our reputation for innovative thinking, outstanding service, value enhancement, and environmental responsibility has been earned through our pioneering work on acclaimed projects around the world. Our dedication to environmental stewardship is promoted and enhanced through our daily operations, thereby protecting and sustaining the natural environment for future generations.

WSP's maritime and buildings disciplines have combined their resources to form one of the industry’s premier, international passenger terminal engineering firms. We provide a one-stop shop for the design of moving Ro-Ro and fixed-ramp vehicular access solutions, as well as all types of quayside, port buildings, and facilities. We design ship-to-shore access systems to suit a wide arrangement of vessels, thereby enabling multiple operators to utilize single or multiple berths. Our maritime team has experience with all mooring and fendering systems for ro-ro and passenger vessels, including fendering, quay- and dolphin-mounted bollards.

Currently we have more than 1,200 dedicated personnel providing multi-faceted services that encompass structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems; sustainable design services, including energy modelling through our built ecology group; comprehensive information technology, audio-visual, and security systems design, and architectural lighting design.

Cruise Terminals

As the cruise industry has grown and attracted enormous investment, it has become even more important to accommodate the larger ships that are crucial to the tourist trade. It is therefore essential that port operators and owners offer the appropriate infrastructure necessary to attract these larger passenger ships, along with the complementary service facilities that passengers expect. At WSP, our in-depth involvement with the cruise sector has given us a wide appreciation of the differing requirements for embarkation and port-of-call terminals: embarkation ports require facilities to process passengers, their luggage, and vessel provisioning, whereas port-of-call facilities are more modest in scope, designed mostly to transport passengers to tourist destinations on shore.

This is a domain that is dominated and controlled by the cruise service providers, and as with cargo facilities, this growing and highly competitive market can be very capital intensive. We have unrivaled experience supporting the major and developing cruise ports in the US, Central America, Caribbean, and the UK, and we are ideally positioned to serve both port authorities and private cruise operators in the development of wharves, jetties, shore protection, and landside facilities. Our maritime consultancy team offers a comprehensive range of specialist consulting services in the sector, ranging from the initial screening of potential projects where analysis is conducted to determine if an opportunity or investment should proceed, through to assessments on defined projects requiring independent opinion. 

Maritime Cruise Terminal

Cruise Terminal

Ferry Terminals

The ferry industry as a whole is experiencing significant growth. Ferries can not only move local commuters and tourists from one location to the other, but freight as well, relieving road and rail congestion, while providing a more sustainable substitute with recent movements towards alternative fuel ferries.

Having developed landside facilities for ferry systems in the US (including Puget Sound, WA, and Boston Harbor, MA), and in the Caribbean, we are well equipped to assist our clients in evaluating ferry service strategies, evaluating existing conditions, and life of landside assets, as well as improving and developing new facilities.

Maritime Ferry Terminals


Mixed-use marina communities are on the rise.  With the potential economic upside of bolstering a location’s waterside setting, there has been an increase in mixed-use and pedestrian-friendly marina communities. These new developments feature boat slips and a mix of homes, shops, restaurants, open-air markets, parks and open spaces, business offices, overnight lodging and other amenities and services.

Our urban planning  and maritime groups have experience in waterside and landside requirements of marinas across the globe. This combination of water/waterfront expertise with a community development approach enables our clients to realize their highest and best use of these waterside community areas.

Maritime Port Marinas

Marina Communities