Increasingly, cruise lines are taking terminal development at their ports of call into their own hands. Thus, in October 2015, Carnival Cruise Line completed the USD 85 mln development of the Amber Cove cruise port in the Dominican Republic. Norwegian Cruise Line invested USD 100 mln into port development at Harvest Caye, Belize, which welcomed its first vessel last November. MSC Cruises is building its USD 200 mln private island, Ocean Cay in the Bahamas, said to be the largest cruise-line-run island, due to open to visitors in November 2018.
However, this model of development is not confined to smaller destinations. This week Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has announced the construction of a new world-class cruise Terminal A at PortMiami, which since October 2018 will be a homeport for two of the line’s largest Oasis-class ships – Allure of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas.
The latter was announced this week by Royal Caribbean as the largest cruise ship in the world. Symphony of the Seas will have 18 decks and will be 360m long and 65m wide. Its gross tonnage will be 230,000. The giant vessel will be able to accommodate 6,780 passengers. As from April 2018, it be cruising around Europe calling at Barcelona, Valencia, Palma de Mallorca, Marseille, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples. And by October it will sail to new Port Miami Terminal A.
The new terminal will encompass 170,000 square feet on 10 acres in the northeast section of the port now used by cargo ships. Royal Caribbean will lease the land while owning, operating and maintaining the terminal. Terminal A will be LEED certified and will employ the best technologies to deliver a state-of-the-art guest experience, reports the cruise operator.
Once the new cruise terminal is completed, it is anticipated that Royal Caribbean will generate at least 1.8 mln travelers at PortMiami, representing no less than 30% of the port’s projected passenger traffic. Today Miami welcomes approximately 750,000 Royal Caribbean passengers annually, which is about 15% of its overall passenger traffic.
Planned as the most innovative cruise facility in the United States and being built as a public-private partnership with Miami-Dade County, Terminal A is expected to have an estimated economic impact of USD 500 mln and generate more than 4,000 jobs, according to Carlos Gimenez, Miami-Dade County Mayor. “This will make PortMiami Royal Caribbean’s largest cruise port in the US, solidifying PortMiami’s status as the Cruise Capital of the World,” said Carlos Gimenez.
“This is an exciting collaboration with Miami-Dade County and PortMiami to create not just another cruise terminal but an iconic state-of-the-art facility,” said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “Terminal A reinforces our unwavering commitment to our hometown, the city where our company first started nearly 50 years ago.”
Terminal A will be designed by England-based global architecture firm Broadway Malyan who won a worldwide competition between five top firms. It has already been nicknamed the “Crown of Miami” for its diadem-like profile when viewed from the water. Its design also evokes the ‘M’ of Miami when viewed from the east or western approaches; and a sense of waves rising or ships passing when viewed from the terminal side. At night, the terminal’s facade will be lit ensuring that the building makes a striking impression and providing a dynamic addition to the PortMiami landscape.