At Miami, expansion for Carnival Excel class, OKs for MSC double-berth facility, Virgin

Coming soon to PortMiami — Carnival's expanded and renovated Terminal F, at left, is designed by Berenblum Busch Architects, and MSC Cruises' new double berth terminal (AA and AAA), right, is by Arquitectonica

An expansion and update of Cruise Terminal F for Carnival’s second Excel-class newbuild and MSC Cruises’ new two-berth terminal were both approved today for PortMiami.

Virgin Voyages, too

Virgin Voyages also got final approval for its new terminal, to go at the northwest end of the port. Its palm-grove-inspired concept is by Arquitectonica.

First LNG-powered cruise ship at the port

Carnival’s renovated and enlarged Terminal F will be home to the unnamed 2022 sister of Mardi Gras, bringing the first LNG-powered cruise ship to the port, while MSC’s large building will host two terminals (AA and AAA) and two berths capable of simultaneous turnaround operations.

‘Over the last several months, we have had very constructive discussions with PortMiami and Miami-Dade leaders about our plans for Miami and our goal to enhance and grow our capacity and operations in our hometown,’ Carnival President Christine Duffy said. ‘Everyone is very excited about Miami being home to our next liquefied natural gas ship in North America and the sister ship to Mardi Gras, which arrives next August and is generating tremendous enthusiasm.’

Ready for Carnival’s 50th anniversary

Today’s approval by Miami-Dade County commissioners for Terminal F’s expansion assures that the new ship and terminal will be ready for Carnival’s 50th anniversary in 2022, Duffy added.

Carnival is currently Miami’s largest cruise operator with more year-round vessels than any other line. The redesigned Terminal F will allow Carnival to continue that leadership by accommodating its largest and newest class of ship, while also making Miami the second port in North America (after Port Canaveral) to handle an LNG-powered cruise ship.

20 years with options for two seven-year extensions

Terminal F will be the third cruise facility at PortMiami dedicated to Carnival operations. Today’s agreement includes a commitment by Carnival to keep ships at Terminal F for 20 years, with the option for two additional seven-year extensions.

The terminal’s simple and open design by Berenblum Busch Architects of Miami will allow for efficiency and flexibility, maximizing the use of facial recognition technology and other elements to expedite passenger processing.

Carnival’s largest terminal in North America

The expansion will result in Terminal F becoming Carnival’s largest terminal in North America. All renovations are set for completion by October 2022 to welcome the Carnival Excel-class ship arriving in late 2022.

MSC Cruises’ double terminal

Also approved today was the final contract for MSC Cruises to design, construct, operate and maintain a large two-berth terminal.

Up to 28,000 passenger movements per day

The Arquitectonica-designed facility will be capable of hosting turnarounds by two mega-ships simultaneously, each with capacity for up to 7,000 passengers, or up to 28,000 passenger movements per day.

‘We couldn’t be more proud of our longstanding partnership with PortMiami and Miami-Dade County and are looking forward to continue working together for many years to come,’ said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman, MSC Cruises.

He said the new terminal will be ‘one of the most innovative the industry has seen’ and will support MSC Cruises’ further expansion plans in North America by enabling its most innovative ship classes to be represented at the ‘cruise capital of the world.’

By year’s end, MSC Cruises will be operating four vessels, each of a different class, from Miami: MSC Seaside, MSC Armonia, MSC Divina and, from November, MSC Meraviglia.

Completion by late 2022

Work on the new terminals is due to commence in early 2020. MSC Cruises estimates completion by late 2022, when the company will transfer all its PortMiami operations to the new terminal.


Posted 19 September 2019

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Anne Kalosh

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Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor, Seatrade Cruise Review Anne Kalosh covers global stories, reporting both breaking and in-depth news on cruising's significant people, places, ships and trends. A sought-after expert on cruising, she has moderated conferences around the world, including the high-profile State of the Industry panel at Seatrade Cruise Global. She created and led the acclaimed itinerary-planning case study for Seatrade's cruise master classes held at Cambridge and Oxford universities. She is the cruise columnist for, and her freelance stories have appeared in a wide range of publications, from The New York Times to The Miami Herald.

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