Norwegian Cruise Lines (Bahamas) getting new terminal in Miami
County commissioners on Tuesday approved an agreement between Miami-Dade and Norwegian Cruise Lines (Bahamas) Ltd. for construction of a new cruise terminal, expected to cost $100 million, at PortMiami.
Joe Martinez voted against it, saying the actual price of the terminal has not yet been determined. Port Director Juan Kuryla said the agreement that commissioners were asked to approve is for the port to sit down with Norwegian Cruise Lines and determine exactly what type they want.
Mr. Martinez told Mr. Kuryla he trusts his judgment.
“We want to come back with a final item this summer,” Mr. Kuryla said. “What you’re agreeing to today is letting us negotiate with Norwegian Cruise Lines.”
The agreement gives the company preferential berthing rights at cruise terminal J for its Prestige Cruise Holdings vessels operated by Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises while providing the county with a minimum annual 45 vessel calls during each fiscal year, according to a memo from Deputy Mayor Jack Osterholt. That’s 15 more than a previous agreement, which had a minimum of 30 Prestige Cruise Holdings vessels (PCH) each fiscal year, he wrote to commissioners.
It provides a new cruise terminal J agreement and outlines an agreement for construction of a new cruise terminal B (and combining existing terminals B and C into a single cruise terminal C) along with changes to preferential berthing rights and term extensions.
Norwegian will continue paying dock and wharf fees according to small passenger vessel tariff rates berthing at terminal J for the remainder of fiscal 2016-2017. As of Oct. 1 and through the term until Sept. 30, 2019, the cruise line will pay the county full tariff rates for dockage and use of the wharf.
Miami-Dade will provide a share of its parking revenue and an annual marketing initiative similar to incentives in agreements with other cruise lines. They’re expected to be about $181,000 for parking and $208,000 for marketing in fiscal 2018 and be paid through the port’s revenue bonds.
Mr. Osterholt said the agreement is expected to generate $1.6 million in gross revenues during fiscal 2018 and the amount will increase by 3% each year, which is contingent on a re-stated agreement for the construction of a new terminal B. Prestige Cruise Holdings vessels will be included in the calculation of the cruise line’s current incentives for its Norwegian Cruise Lines ships once the begin paying the county full tariff rates.
The construction of the new terminal B – with an estimated completion by January 2020 – will allow the port to expand its cruise business by allowing for the simultaneous berthing of two large vessels of 5,000 passengers. The agreement for terminal improvements is planned for presentation to the commission in the summer and will contain a full financial analysis, Mr. Osterholt wrote. If the re-stated agreement is approved by July 31 (subject to extension by the seaport director), Norwegian has an option to extend it for one five-year term that would expire Sept. 30, 2026.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. is a leading global cruise company operating Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Norwegian Cruise Lines (Bahamas) manages assets and vessels operating under the three brands.
On Nov. 16, 2010, the commission approved a cruise terminal agreement between Miami-Dade and Prestige Cruise Holdings that gave the port guaranteed passenger volumes and revenues while granting Prestige Cruise Holdings preferential berthing at Terminal J for its Oceania vessels.
Later, in response to the homeporting of Regent in Miami, the commission approved an amendment to the cruise terminal agreement on Nov. 20 that established PortMiami as the exclusive home port for Oceania and Regent brands with increased minimal annual guarantees to Miami-Dade in exchange for new tariff incentive rates for small passenger vessels.
The resolution was prepared by PortMiami at the request of sponsor Rebeca Sosa.