'Port Canaveral has been in a steady state of growth over the last couple years. As the world’s second busiest multi-day cruise port, and Florida’s third largest in revenue, we're an important economic driver for not only Brevard County, but for Central Florida and beyond,' said Capt. John Murray, port CEO. 'This is a long-term plan but an important blueprint for the port's future. Our principal focus is to ensure we have the facilities and capabilities to support our growth going forward while simultaneously maintaining the public recreational interests defined by the port’s charter.'
The first cruise facillity, already in design, will be built at the current Cruise Terminal 3 site in the eastern part of the port and is targeted for completion in late 2019, while a second terminal would go east of that.
A third terminal, to go in the port's western cruise center, would require rehabilitating Cruise Terminal 5, which today has a short berth. To extend the slip, the roadway would need to be bowed out to the north.
Altogether, the cruise components for the three terminals would come in at right under $600m.
The plan envisions the second new cruise terminal in 2022-2023 and the third in 2027-2030. A fourth new terminal may eventually be needed to accommodate the booming cruise sector.
'Our cruise business represents a majority of the port's operating revenue and the industry as a whole is projected to grow significantly over the next several years. New ships under construction now are larger and more sophisticated, thus creating greater needs. Port Canaveral is ideally positioned to service these growth opportunities and has the financial strength to meet that demand,' Murray said.
According to estimates by Luis Ajamil of Bermello Ajamil & Partners, who this week presented the draft master plan at a public meeting, Canaveral's cruise numbers could rise from just over 4m passengers now to 5.5m by 2020, 6m in 2022-2023, 7m in 2027-2030, 8m in 2039 and approaching 9m by 2048.
In three community meetings with citizens and port users prior to drafting the plan presented this week, Bermello Ajamil found broad support for growing the cruise sector.
The cruise business is very important to the port but just one aspect of the master plan, which also envisions segregating cargo and cruise operations, capitalizing on the aerospace sector, expanding recreational and park areas, and adding restaurants, meeting spaces and offices, a marina district with yacht club and a new commercial fishing area.
The intermodal center would streamline traffic circulation, providing a hub for transportation to the Space Coast/Central Florida and shuttle buses connecting all the terminals. This center also would consolidate car rental services and provide secondary parking for overflow from all terminals.
Comments on the draft, available here, will now be taken into consideration, with a refined master plan to be presented for adoption, possibly later this year.