Photos by Asia Morris. Renderings courtesy of Carnival.
A symbolic “first nail” ceremony to launch Carnival Cruise Line’s multimillion-dollar renovation of the Long Beach Cruise Terminal facility took place this afternoon.
Steve Goodling from the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, Mayor Robert Garcia and Carlos Torres de Navarra, Carnival Cruise Line’s vice president of Strategic and Commercial Port Development, helped commemorate the start of the project.
The renovation, expected to be completed by January 2018, will accommodate larger ships and enhance terminal operations, as well as more than double the space Carnival currently occupies in the terminal facility from approximately 66,000 square feet to 142,000 square feet, according to Carnival officials.
Carnival has operated the Long Beach Cruise Terminal since 2003, the United States’ only privately operated cruise terminal. It’s also one of the busiest terminals in North America, according to de Navarra.
“The start of construction on this project further cements our commitment to the City of Long Beach and the outstanding relationships we have built with the leaders and people of this community,” de Navarra said in a statement. “Our operations bring tremendous economic benefit to this area and expose hundreds of thousands of people a year to this great city.
“These new terminal enhancements will further grow that positive impact,” he added.
Currently, the cruise line only uses a portion of the geodesic dome, known for housing Howard Hughes’ “Spruce Goose” museum attraction. The renovations will make the entirety of the space available for operations, involving accommodating larger ships and more passengers, without changing the dome whatsoever.
“[...]This expansion is going to take full use of this incredible structure,” Garcia said during the ceremony. “So to see it really used to its full potential, to be able to have this entire structure occupied, full of people, using it as part of this terminal, I think is something that’s really a good moment for the city.”
“Because this space truly has been underutilized and not really had full operations since the grand airplane that was in this building left,” Garcia continued.
One part of the project will include increasing portside “cold-ironing” capacity to handle larger vessels, a technology that enables cruise ships to plug into the local electrical grid, therefore reducing exhaust emissions while docked.
The area surrounding the dome will receive additional enhancements, alongside added parking capacity. De Navarra also gave a nod toward Urban Commons’ recently announced plans to transform the 65-acre area surrounding the Queen Mary into “Queen Mary Island.”
Carnival currently operates three ships from the Long Beach Cruise Terminal, Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Imagination, two lines that currently offer three-and four-day Baja cruises departing from Long Beach and Carnival Miracle, which operates seven-day voyages to the Mexican Riviera, as well as 14-and 15-day cruises to Hawaii and Alaska roundtrip.
Next year, when the larger Carnival Splendor replaces Carnival Miracle, the line will carry more than 700,000 guests annually, operating nearly 250 three- to 14-day cruises a year, according to the announcement.
Following the initial remarks, Carnival presented a donation of $25,000 to the Mayor’s Fund for Education, made jointly by Carnival Cruise Line and Carnival Foundation, as part of Carnival Corporation’s “ongoing support for nonprofit educational and charitable organizations in the homeport communities where its brands operate.”
Image courtesy of Long Beach CVB.
For more information about Carnival Cruise Line, visit the website here.
The Long Beach Cruise Terminal is located at 231 Windsor Way.