Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Carnival Cruise Line Begins Renovating
Long Beach Terminal

By Mark Edward Nero

Carnival Cruise Line has begun a multimillion-dollar renovation of its Long Beach Cruise Terminal facility to accommodate larger ships and enhance terminal operations.

A groundbreaking ceremony held in April included remarks by City of Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, President and CEO of Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau Steve Goodling and Carnival Cruise Line Vice President Strategic and Commercial Port Development Carlos Torres de Navarra, among others.

Design plans for the terminal were unveiled by Carnival during the celebration. The renovation is expected to increase the space Carnival currently occupies in the terminal facility from about 66,000 square feet to 142,000 square feet.

Carnival says the expansion and new design will allow for a dramatically enhanced passenger experience and operational flow within the terminal. The project also includes the expansion of portside “cold-ironing” to enable larger ships to plug into the local electric grid to reduce exhaust emissions while docked.

Also planned are further enhancements to the area surrounding the geodesic dome that houses the cruise terminal and the adjacent Queen Mary tourist attraction.

Carnival has run the Long Beach Cruise Terminal — the United States’ only privately operated cruise terminal — since 2003. It is one of the busiest terminals in North America, with ships docking at the facility five days per week resulting in a more than 70 percent utilization rate, according to Carnival.

The renovation is expected to make 100 percent of the geodesic dome, originally the space that housed Howard Hughes’ “Spruce Goose” museum attraction, available for Carnival’s cruise operations. The company currently uses only a portion of the area for customs and guest check-in activities.

Currently, Carnival operates three ships from the Long Beach Cruise Terminal — Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Imagination, which offer three- and four-day Baja cruises, and Carnival Miracle, which operates week-long Mexican Riviera voyages along with 14- and 15-day cruises to Hawaii and Alaska.

In 2018 when the larger Carnival Splendor replaces Carnival Miracle, the line is expected to carry more than 700,000 guests annually from Southern California, and operate nearly 250 three- to 14-day cruises a year.