At an official space-themed ceremony on Monday, March 18, the Canaveral Port Authority and cruise partner Carnival Cruise Line broke ground for the building of Port Canaveral’s Cruise Terminal 3 complex.
The brand new terminal, dubbed Launch Pad, is due to become the homeport of Carnival Mardi Gras - company’s newest and most innovative vessel, with scheduled launch in 2020. Port’s leadership team and Port Authority Commissioners joined Carnival executives for the groundbreaking at the site of the project as NASA’s “Spaceman” planted a Carnival flag on a simulated lunar landscape.
The theme of the event, “Go for Launch,” was a nod to the key role of the port with the U.S. space program and the futuristic design of the terminal, which was inspired by Kennedy Space Center, situated nearby. The US$163 million cruise terminal project, which is the largest in the 65-year history of the port, is due for completion in May 2020. It will be ready for the arrival of Carnival Mardi Gras to her year-round homeport of Port Canaveral in October 2020.
Merritt Island, Florida-based Ivey’s Construction, was awarded the contract to construct the 2-story, 187,000 ft2 (17,373 m2) terminal facility, and the adjacent 6-story parking garage. The terminal will have a high-tech baggage processing facility along with a state-of-the-art check-in and security area on the 2nd floor, with kiosks and seating for 1,700 guests. The 6-story 692,000 ft2 (64,289 m2) parking garage will be able to accommodate 1,800 vehicles.
Substantial completion of the terminal project is scheduled for December this year.
Port Canaveral’s Launch Pad will homeport Carnival’s most innovative and largest ship, Mardi Gras, which will be powered by LNG (liquified natural gas), part of the “green cruising” platform of Carnival Corporation.
The arrival of Mardi Gras in Port Canaveral in 2020 marks 30 years that Carnival Cruise Line has been sailing from the port.