The Canaveral Port Authority (CPA) Board of Commissioners took the final step today and voted unanimously to approve the terms of a long-term agreement with Carnival Cruise Line, paving the way for Carnival to homeport its newest and largest ship at Port Canaveral.
“I am extremely excited about this next chapter for Port Canaveral, and extraordinarily proud of the Port’s leadership team, staff and our cruise partners who have brought us to where we are today. Carnival’s commitment to our Port and their multiple decades of operations here is a tribute to our entire Port community,” said Wayne Justice, Chairman, Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners.
The new operating agreement, which begins September 1, 2018 and replaces an existing six-year agreement set to expire next year, provides a 25-year primary term with four additional five-year renewal options. Under the terms of the agreement, Carnival’s minimum annual guarantee increases from the current fixed $7 million passenger fee to $14.5 million with annual escalators.
“This agreement is a valuable milestone for the Port’s cruise business and a foremost achievement for the entire region’s economy. Our partnership with Carnival has continued to grow over the years thanks to this community’s assets, our commitment to service, and a steadfast focus on preserving our financial strength to invest in the Port’s future,” said Tom Weinberg, Secretary/Treasurer, Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners.
Canaveral Port Authority and Carnival Cruise Line will invest in building and equipping a new two-story 185,000-sq. ft. terminal to accommodate the as-yet-unnamed 180,000-ton Carnival Cruise Line ship, engineered with Carnival Corporation’s state-of-the-art LNG “green cruising” design platform. The new cruise vessel will have a 5,286 lower berth capacity with a maximum capacity of approximately 6,500 guests.
“This agreement will have lasting economic benefit for both the Port and Carnival Cruise Line,” said Capt. John Murray Port CEO. “We are excited, thrilled, and honored to enter this new generation of an exceptional relationship with Carnival Corporation.”
“With its convenient location, excellent facilities and friendly staff, Port Canaveral is one of our most popular and fastest-growing homeports and we’re delighted to bring this exciting, one-of-a-kind ship to the Space Coast in 2020,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
“The most exciting aspect, and the reason a new terminal is necessary, is that this groundbreaking new class of ship – the largest ever constructed for Carnival Cruise Line – will be home ported at Port Canaveral when it’s delivered in 2020. This ship, which can carry up to 6,500 passengers will be the first LNG-powered cruise ship based in North America,” said Capt. Murray.
Constructing the new CT-3 terminal, plus an adjacent elevated parking facility to accommodate nearly 1,800 vehicles, and related wharf, road and access improvements will total $150 million – estimated to be the largest single project in the history of the Port. The new terminal is planned for completion by June 2020.
The arrival of the new Carnival ship in 2020 will mark 30 years that Carnival Cruise Line has been sailing from Port Canaveral, the longest of any of the Port’s cruise partners.