$38 million to berth MSC Cruises’ MSC Seaside
County commissioners are being asked to accelerate $38 million to improve PortMiami’s Terminal F for berthing MSC Cruises’ MSC Seaside starting in winter 2017. The Trade and Tourism Committee is to consider that resolution by Jose “Pepe” Diaz today (4/14).
Under a commission-approved deal with MSC Cruises, the port must make the improvements to serve the 5,200-passenger Seaside. Although the port capped its agreement with MSC at $25 million, it retained the option for “up-sizing” the terminal to handle even larger ships.
Deputy Mayor Jack Osterholt said the increase in passengers generated by the MSC Seaside will generate $3.5 million more revenue that will help to offset the $38 million investment in Terminal F.
For the investment to offset the $38 million and add income for the port, Mr. Osterholt wrote, the port will have to attract another ship as big as or bigger than the Seaside. “At present, a large order book of cruise ships exists with multiple vessels requiring terminal capacities greater than those of the port,” he said. “These new vessels will, at full capacity, carry 6,000 or more passengers while the port’s largest existing terminals were designed and built for passenger loads up to 4,500.”
Expansion of Terminal F is designed to not only accommodate the Seaside, he said, but also loads beyond the 6,000-passenger level.
The port is also trying to design and procure boarding bridges for the terminal to handle ships with even more capacity than the Seaside, he said. “Together, these improvements will enable the port to attract these larger 6,000 passenger vessels to both fully offset the $38 million investment in the improvements and to produce annual net positive income to the port above the $38 million investment.”