Port Canaveral commissioners have given the go-ahead to upgrades for terminals 5 and 10, aimed at accommodating bigger ships. Among the series of upgrades is a new parking garage for 700 cars at Cruise Terminal 5.
Also approved was a plan for USD 90 million in financing for the new projects, through bank loans and bonds. The work on the two cruise terminals will total around USD 81 million.
Jerry Allender, Canaveral Port Authority Chairman, voted against the 6 items related to the upgrades. He said he preferred a more phased-in approach, not including the parking garage at Cruise Terminal 5 and delaying the work on Terminal 10.
Cruise Terminal 5 was created in 1991. Its remodeling will allow to handle 3,500-passenger ships, in comparison to the current size limit of ships carrying as many as 2,500 passengers. The upgrades to Terminal 5 are estimated at more than USD 39 million.
Commissioners also approved USD 42 million renovations to Terminal 10, including a revamp of the 2nd floor, pier extension, new pier wall and new gangways. After the upgrades, the 1994-built terminal, will handle 5,000-passenger cruise ships, up from the current limit of 3,200.
The main lines using Port Canaveral Cruise Terminals 5 and 10, are Carnival and Norwegian (NCL). According to John Walsh, Port Canaveral Chief Executive Office, those were good customers. He added that the upgrades would enable the port to accommodate Norwegian Epic, one of the largest cruise ships in the world today, when based at Port Canaveral, starting November 2016.
The upgrades will also help accommodate other ships that could be added to its lineup and allow the port to delay the building of a new cruise terminal, estimated at up to USD 140 million. By being able to accommodate bigger ships, the revenue of Port Canaveral from fees paid by the lines and from parking by passengers will increase.
If commissioners hadn't approved the upgrades, Terminal 5 would have needed over USD 10 million, and Terminal 10 - more than USD 11 million in repairs.