Seatrade Cruise News is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

San Francisco ushers in its new flexible, green cruise terminal

Jay Ach
Star Princess alongside at the new James R. Herman Cruise Terminal at Pier 27 last week, prior to the grand opening
San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee joined the Port of San Francisco, the maritime community and the public in celebrating the grand opening of the new James R. Herman Cruise Terminal at Pier 27 on Thursday. Grand Princess, in port for the festivities, served as the backdrop.

The terminal offers 91,000 square feet in a two-story building with views to the Bay Bridge and back to the city skyline and Telegraph Hill. Sized for 2,600 passengers and able to handle ships with up to 4,000, the terminal includes the latest passenger and perimeter security features while also easily transitioning to an event center on non-cruise days. Other features are computerized access control and security monitoring systems, vessel data connectivity to terminal network systems, and hardwired and wireless operating networks.

Mayor Lee called the terminal a 'legacy project that will welcome more passengers, visitors and residents to our world-class waterfront for generations to come,' adding that it was delivered on time and on budget and is expected to boost tourism, jobs and economic impact.

Circulation for passenger drop-off, taxis, buses and provisioning all occur off the Embarcadero Roadway within the interior of the 13-acre pier. Ship boarding is via a new FMT glass–enclosed, automated mobile gangway able to meet ships' varied door heights.

At berth, vessels can plug into the port’s 12 megawatt shore power system to receive cleanly generated power.

On non-cruise days the terminal quickly converts into San Francisco's newest event center. Interior spaces can support a variety of events with flexibly designed spaces and dividers, stackable furnishings, mobile check-in booths and security screening equipment, shared audio/visual resource hubs, and multiple entrance lobbies for simultaneous event use.

Outside the Embarcadero front of the facility is the expansive lawn of the new 2.5-acre Cruise Terminal Plaza with more than 50 benches.

Besides serving as a gateway to the city, the terminal represents a commitment to cruising for at least another century, according to port executive director Monique Moyer. It also showcases maritime operations side-by-side with recreation, public access and environmental stewardship, she said.

The terminal was constructed using sustainable design practices in accord with Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) standards. Features that contribute to the LEED 'Silver' rating include diverting more than 75% of construction waste materials from landfill, a roof drain system that sends rainwater to storage tanks where it is then used for flushing toilets and landscape irrigation, and plumbing fixtures that are 40% more efficient than code requirements.

Moreover, landscape design resulted in more than 50% irrigation reduction compared to a mid-summer baseline. Storm water not used for irrigation is treated before release into the bay, and the energy-efficient building envelope, lighting and HVAC systems reduce energy needs by more than 18% compared to a mid-summer baseline.

Building materials are composed heavily of recycled, regional and Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood, and components were selected for non-/low-toxicity for adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, flooring systems and composite woods. The vehicle area includes parking for fuel-efficient vehicles.

It is estimated that the cruise industry in San Francisco supports $31.2m annually in economic activity and generates 300 jobs within San Francisco.

San Francisco Public Works and the port were responsible for construction management of the new terminal. The contractor was Turner Construction and designers/architects were KMD Kaplan McLaughlin Diaz and Pfau Long Architecture with Bermello Ajamil & Partners as design consultant.