New Cruise Terminal Projects Move Forward in Miami

A rendering of Carnival Cruise Line's renovated Terminal F(Photo by Carnival Cruise Line)

A number of new terminal projects in Florida moved forward this week as local authorities in Miami granted approval for a trio of projects that are on the horizon.

Carnival Cruise Line received approval for a complete renovation and major expansion of PortMiami’s Cruise Terminal F that will be capable of supporting the operations of Carnival’s new Excel class ship – clearing the way for the yet-to-be-named sibling ship of Mardi Gras to be homeported in Miami when it is delivered in 2022. The renovations are scheduled to be completed in October of that year, with the new ship arriving later. 

In addition to accommodating the Excel class, the newest and largest class of vessel in Carnival’s fleet, the new terminal will also the line to bring its next liquefied natural gas- (LNG) powered ship to the port. When completed, Terminal F will be the third cruise terminal at PortMiami dedicated to Carnival operations. The agreement includes a commitment by Carnival to keep ships at Terminal F for 20 years, with the option of two additional seven-year extensions.

The expansion, designed by Berenblum Busch Architects of Miami, will make Terminal F Carnival’s largest terminal in North America. In addition to an open design to allow for efficient embarkation and disembarkation, the revamped facility will also incorporate facial recognition technology. 

MSC Gets Two Terminals

MSC Cruises, meanwhile, received approval on the final contract for the construction of a new building that will house two cruise terminals, AA and AAA, as well as two berths, at PortMiami. Designed by Arquitectonica, the new terminals will be capable of hosting two mega cruise ships at the same time, each with a capacity of up to 7,000 guests, allowing MSC to conduct two turnaround operations simultaneously and handle up to 28,000 passengers per day. 

MSC Cruises currently operates four cruise ships, across four different classes, out of PortMiami, including: MSC Seaside, MSC Armonia, MSC Divina and MSC Meraviglia, which will join the ships sailing from Miami this November.  

Work on the new terminals is due to commence in early 2020. MSC Cruises currently estimates that the work will be completed by late 2022, at which time the company will transfer all its PortMiami operations to the new terminal.

New Virgin Voyages Terminal

Miami officials also approved Virgin Voyages' plans for a new cruise terminal. The terminal will be located on the northwest side of the port, with completion scheduled for November 2021, the beginning of the year's cruise season. The Scarlet Ladythe first ship for the new, adults-only cruise brand, will sail from the existing Terminal F following its 2020 debut, before switching over to the new terminal for the winter 2021 cruise season. 

Virgin’s second ship will also sail from Miami during the fall and winter cruise season of 2021 and 2022.

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