Carnival Corp., Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Royal Caribbean Group and Virgin Voyages endorsed the plan.
'This is a major win for our port, the environment, the entire region and the state of Florida, and I’m incredibly proud to deliver on my commitment to bring shore power to our community with this initiative,' Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Wednesday. 'The goal is to make PortMiami the first seaport in the state of Florida and the southeastern United States to provide shore power hookup — not just the cruise capital of the world but a leader in sustainability.'
The parties agreed to form a working group under the mayor's office.
They noted this may represent a significant financial investment by all involved, yet despite the financial and other challenges posed by the current COVID-19 pandemic, all agreed that shore power is the right investment for a climate-resilient future at PortMiami, Miami-Dade County and Florida.
Follows other North American cruise ports
Shore power for cruise ships has been discussed for years in South Florida. On North America's East Coast, it is available at the Port of Montréal, Halifax and Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, while on the West Coast, cruise ships can hook up alongside at the ports of San Diego, Los Angeles, Carnival Corp.'s Long Beach Cruise Terminal, San Francisco, Seattle, Juneau and Vancouver, BC.
'First crucial step'
In Miami, there are many details and issues to be addressed, including port infrastructure investments, ship configurations, financing and a timeline for availability of electrical power infrastructure.
'Today is the first crucial step to begin this process by receiving the commitment from the public and private sectors to move this environmental initiative forward to combat climate change and work toward an initial installation as expeditiously as possible and eventually a full rollout in the years to come,' the joint letter stated.
Entrepreneur and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine is helping lead this initiative as a volunteer special advisor focused on the future of cruising, working with the mayor's office, PortMiami and the cruise companies.
Carnival Corp. a 'strong proponent'
'We view this as a positive step and a continuation of our broader environmental protection efforts well under way across each of our brands,' a Carnival Corp. spokesman told Seatrade Cruise News. 'We applaud Mayor Cava and PortMiami on this initiative and we are proud to be a part of this effort. With nearly half of our fleet equipped to utilize shore power, we are strong proponents of this technology.'
The letter was signed by Carnival President and CEO Arnold Donald, Disney Signature Experiences President Thomas Mazloum, MSC Cruises USA Chairman Rick Sasso, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio, Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain and Virgin Voyages President and CEO Tom McAlpin.