Port Lands Cruise Line Will Build 60m Hq
Written by Wayne Tompkins on September 27, 2007
By Wayne Tompkins
The Port of Miami expects next month to announce a deal that will bring a new cruise line headquarters to the port as well as a new $60 million terminal to accommodate it.
Port Director Bill Johnson said the deal, if completed, would be in the range of 15 years and $60 million.
"We’re getting very close to announcing jointly the actual cruise line and the parameters of the deal," Mr. Johnson said. "It represents a good deal for the port and the cruise line. We’re excited."
The port, operated by Miami-Dade County, hopes to present the deal to the county commission’s transit committee in November and to the full commission a month later, Mr. Johnson said.
The port already is home to most major cruise lines and is the world’s busiest cruise facility, expecting nearly 3.75 million passengers this year. That’s below its 2003 record of 3.96 million, but up substantially from 3.1 million passengers in 1999.
"We’re projecting 3.95 million passengers in 2008," Mr. Johnson said.
The pending announcement comes as the port is opening two new cruise terminals for Carnival Cruise Lines.
"These are state-of-the art terminals that we built for $40 million each," Mr. Johnson said. "It continues the long legacy here where modern-day cruising was actually invented more than 40 years ago at the Port of Miami."
The port is home to 22 different vessels and seven different brands in the cruise industry. While the identity of the new cruise line has not been publicly disclosed, Disney Cruise Lines, now based at Port Canaveral, recently made it known it might be looking to move or expand elsewhere. European lines looking to expand East Coast operations might also be interested in giving the Port of Miami a look.
Mr. Johnson said he also is aggressively pursuing the growing "port of call" business of vessels that make mid-week stops.