The City of Long Beach has signed an agreement with Carnival Cruise Line and Urban Commons to expand the Long Beach cruise terminal facility, allowing for larger ships in the future and enhancing terminal operations, Carnival Cruise officials announced yesterday.
The deal is expected to nearly triple the size of Carnival’s current terminal facility, from about 66,0000 square feet to 142,000 square feet, Carnival officials stated. The agreement will also give Carnival 100 percent use of the Dome, “allowing for larger ships and providing additional space needed to accommodate two-way operations, enabling embarking guests to access the terminal prior to completion of disembarkation,” according to officials.
Plans include expanding the portside cold-ironing capacity to accommodate larger vessels—technology that enables cruise ships to “plug into the local electric grid and reduce exhaust emissions while docked,” according to a release.
While construction is expected to be completed in 2017, measures will be taken during the construction period to ensure continued smooth operational flow and high standard of customer service for cruise guests.
“For years we have been working toward reaching an agreement to expand the Long Beach Cruise Terminal to accommodate larger ships on the West Coast, and we’re thrilled to finally be able to move forward with our plans to assume full usage of the Dome, making Long Beach one of our largest homeport facilities,” stated Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy.
Carnival has operated the terminal since 2003, using part of the Geodesic Dome that was the former museum housing Howard Hughes’ “Spruce Goose” attraction, officials stated.
“The expansion of the Carnival Cruise terminal is great news for Long Beach and great news for visitors to our city,” Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia stated. “The added capacity will bring more tourism and economic activity to Long Beach, and we’re pleased to continue working with Carnival for many years to come.”
Urban Commons co-founder Taylor Woods echoed the mayor’s sentiments.
“Carnival Cruise Line is a tremendous asset for the Long Beach community, and we are pleased to reach an agreement with their team that will support the exciting expansion of their operations immediately adjacent to The Queen Mary,” Woods stated. “We have big plans for the facility and the surrounding land, and Carnival’s success will only add to the vitality and energy of what promises to be one of the top destinations in California.”
During a September 20 meeting, the Long Beach City Council voted in favor to receive and file plans created by the Queen Mary Land Development Task Force for the surrounding land.
Carnival Cruise Line’s recently enhanced ships, Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Imagination, operate year-round three- and four-day Baja cruises from Long Beach. Carnival Miracle sails seven-day voyages to the Mexican Riviera and 14- and 15-day cruises to Hawaii and Alaska roundtrip from Long Beach, according to the cruise line.