In an unanimous vote, Port Canaveral Commissioners have approved building a new $80-85 million cruise terminal and 1.000-vehicle parking facility that is scheduled to open in November 2014. The 185,000-square-foot terminal will be located on the south side of the harbor in the Cove restaurant and retail area.
“Couple this month’s opening of the new Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral with the restaurants, retail, and entertainment currently available, then add in our plans for additional Cove expansion, and the passengers and crew who will sail from this new terminal will have destination options available for the first time within walking distance of their ship,” said Port Canaveral CEO John E. Walsh. Cruise visitors will be able to walk outside the terminal to enjoy Port destination options or depart from the terminal and Exploration Tower to enjoy area excursions.
The new cruise terminal complex will handle the largest cruise ships currently sailing as well as the 6,000-passenger vessels in design. Construction is expected to begin in January. Announcements regarding the new terminal’s tenants are expected soon.
“This is an exciting time as we expand our operations to meet the demands of our customers and the resulting jobs and economic impact for our community,” said Tom Weinberg, chairman of the Canaveral Port Authority Commission. One home-ported cruise ship is expected to generate $250 million annual community impact and create 2500 direct and indirect jobs.
To accommodate the new terminal, the Board unanimously approved building a new, larger recreational boat ramp complex just west of Jetty Park at the channel’s entrance to replace the current boat ramps at Freddie Patrick Park in the Cove.