Cylindrical pieces of the new free-fall ride for Busch Gardens Tampa Bay are offloaded at the Port of Tampa from the specialty cargo vessel m/v Nomadic Hjellestad, October 24. (Photos by A. Fobes)
TAMPA, Fla.— The Port of Tampa handles heavy and sometimes unusual cargoes many times throughout the year, but recently, the port handled some of its most unusual and colorful cargo ever—components of Falcon’s Fury™, the 335-foot free-fall tower being introduced into the Busch Gardens Tampa lineup of thrill rides.
The tower is comprised of nine sections, each up to 20 feet in diameter and weighing up to 95 tons, or 190,000 pounds. The total weight of the tower pieces that were offloaded at the port from the vessel m/v Nomadic Hjellestad was approximately 519 tons, or more than 1 million pounds of steel. The pieces were shipped from the Port of Tarragona, Spain and made the month-long trip of more than 4,700 miles across the Atlantic Ocean to the Port of Tampa. The ride pieces were then trucked by Crane Rental Corp. to Busch Gardens over the course of two days, where they will be installed later this year.
Vessel agency for the m/v Nomadic Hjellestad, was provided by Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS), and Ports America provided stevedoring and terminal operating services. The ship that handled the large components is part of the Spliethoff Group of heavy lift ships, based in Amsterdam. Spliethoff specializes in the shipping of large and heavy-lift cargoes and offers regular services from all of Europe and the Mediterranean into the Americas.
“The Port of Tampa is a perfect location for project cargoes such as these large, steel components of Falcon’s Fury, a new and dynamic thrill ride. It shines a spotlight on our capabilities to handle heavy lift and specialized cargoes,” Paul Anderson, port president and CEO, said. “It’s great to have world-renowned Busch Gardens to make use of our port and our expert workforce. We look forward to continuing to work with our partner Busch Gardens on future cargo opportunities.”
The Port of Tampa is the largest economic engine in west central Florida, supporting nearly 80,000 jobs and generating almost $15 billion in annual economic impact. The port handles a wide array of bulk, break bulk, containers and roll-on/roll-off cargoes, and is a major cruise homeport and shipbuilding and repair center. The Port of Tampa was recently voted “Simply the Best” for world-class customer service in a Logistics Management Magazine reader poll. For more information, visit www.tampaport.com.