Los Angeles cruise port is located in California's biggest city (population around 4 million, density ~8100 per mi2 / ~3100 km2). LA is the USA's second-largest city - after NYC New York (population over 8,6 million, density ~27000 per mi2 / 10400 km2).
The City of Los Angeles is in the Southern Californian basin (Pacific Ocean) and is most famous for being the world’s entertainment industry center. Los Angeles cruise port welcomes more than 300 cruises each year. Popular voyages are to the Hawaiian islands and the Mexican Riviera. The Los Angeles cruise port ship schedule offers roundtrips to Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Ensenada, Catalina and Vancouver (on repositioning cruise itineraries to Alaska).
Port Los Angeles
Port Los Angeles is a large seaport complex covering a land area of 30,35 km2 (11,72 mi2) with around 69 km (43 mi) long waterfront. LA port adjoins the separate Port Long Beach. Port's main imports are furniture, auto parts, footwear-apparel, electronics. Main exports are wastepaper, scrap metal, cotton, animal feed. Largest cargo shipping volumes come from East Asia (China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam).
LA port district is an independent department of city's government. It is controlled by Board of Harbor Commissioners consisting of 5 members and 1 executive director. They are all appointed by the city mayor and approved by the city council. All vessels are assisted by professional harbor pilots. Port's safety is guaranteed by dedicated Port Police, LA Fire Department (fire-EMS services), USCG (waterway security), Homeland Security (federal land) and LA County Lifeguards (open waters outside the harbour).
Port Los Angeles is located in San Pedro Bay, in LA's neighborhoods San Pedro and Wilmington. The seaport is approx 32 km (20 mi) south of downtown LA. It employs 896,000+ people (throughout LA) and 3,6+ million worldwide. The worth of seaport's annually shipped cargoes is ~USD 1,2 billion. Cargo volumes represent ~43% of USA's total imported cargoes, ranking LA as USA's largest container port and world's 16th largest (9th when combined with Long Beach).
Channel depth (53 ft / 16 m) allows access to world's largest container ships, tankers and bulk cargo carriers. The port has a total of 23 cargo terminals (270 deepwater berths), 9 container terminals (with 77 gantry cranes) and on-site railway system (total length 182 km / 113 mi). In 2012 was completed a dredging project that deepened the main shipping channel to the current 16 m (53 ft). With its arrival in November 2013, the boxship CMA CGM Corte Real made a new North American record for call port cargo handling (10,000+ container moves).
In August 2017, the port reported record-breaking container shipping volumes of 847,857 TEU-containers, which was an increase of 6,1% over August 2016. August 2017 became the second-busiest month in the port’s history, following January 2017 when the container cargo volumes climbed by 9% over January 2016, with handled 8,8 million TEUs. The previous record (2013) was 7,9 million TEUs.
For FY2017, the seaport reported a record year for cargo shipping - 9,343192 million TEUs (containers) or 5,5% increase over 2016. Among the implemented in 2017 technology upgrades was “Port Optimizer” (online portal developed by GE Transportation). It collects and stores key cargo data to facilitate better harbor tracking. Infrastructural upgrades were completed at the terminals TraPac and Yusen.
World Cruise Center (San Pedro) is located beneath Vincent Thomas Bridge (length 6060 ft / 1847 m). The suspension bridge crosses LA Harbor and links San Pedro with the man-made Terminal Island. San Pedro cruise port has 3 berths and serves 1+ million passengers annually, ranking it West Coast USA's largest cruise terminal. Popular waterfront attractions located nearby are USS Iowa Museum, Los Angeles Maritime Museum, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. They are all linked to the cruise port via pedestrian promenade. Shuttle bus service (provided by Waterfront Red Car Line) is a 2,5 km /(1,5 mi) long vintage trolley line along the waterfront connecting cruise terminals with downtown, Ports O'Call Village (shopping/dining complex) and San Pedro Marina.
LA Waterfront is a tourist-serving destination funded and maintained by LA port. In 2009 were approved development programs for San Pedro and Wilmington waterfronts (officially "LA Waterfront"). The area consists of 1,6 km2 (0,63 mi2) San Pedro and Wilmington properties, miles-long promenade and walking paths, large open space areas, LA Waterfront project's construction works started in 2017, with scheduled completion in 2020. This port development project (budgeted USD 90 million) was fully paid by Port Los Angeles.
The Cunard ship RMS Queen Mary 2 is currently port's largest cruise liner. The ever-largest liner homeported in LA is RCI-Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas. In 2009-2011, the 3835-passenger ship operated regularly scheduled 7-day roundtrips to Mexican Riviera ports. However, due to increased violence in Mexico, in 2011 the liner was relocated to the Caribbean (homeported in Galveston TX). In 2021, RCI plans to homeport in LA Voyager of the Seas (June through December) for 3-4-night roundtrips to Mexico. Voyager OTS and Mariner OTS are sisterships.
In 2004, Port LA installed its first Alternative Maritime Power (AMP) berth, providing shore-to-ship power up to 40 MW. It allows city-grid power supply for 2 vessels simultaneously. The facility also supplies with power 3 container terminals. The technology (by Nidec Corporation, Japan) enables docked vessels to receive electricity from city's power grid. From the berth, vessels can plug-in directly to the grid for full onboard operations without using diesel engines or gas turbines (being shut down right after docking). The Japanese company has installed such shore-power systems in ports San Francisco CA, Juneau AK, Goteborg, Travemunde, Livorno, Genoa. In 2018 was completed the upgrade of the shorepower system that provides more electricity for larger-sized vessels. Shoreside power was installed at berths 91 and 93, where 2 docked cruise liners can be connected simultaneously. Utility bills (to LA's Department of Water and Power) are paid by the seaport, which then invoices the shipowner/terminal operator for reimbursement. The estimated monthly electricity cost is minimum USD 11250 (annual USD 125,000). The port has 30+ electrified berths where boxships and refrigerated cargo carriers can use shoreside power.
In November 2017, Pier 400 (APM Terminals in Port Los Angeles) reported a single-vessel cargo record during the call of the containership Maersk Evora (a total of 24,846 TEUs / containers loaded and offloaded over a period of 128 hours. The vessel docked at Pier 400 on October 19, calling LA as part of the Europe-Far East service AE6/TP6. On December 26, 2015, while the boxship CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin was berthed here, the terminal handled a total of 11,200 TEUs over a 56-hour period.
In 2018, in Los Angeles was homeported its ever-largest liner so far - NCL's Alaskan ship Norwegian Bliss (2018-built, 326 m long, 168,000 tons, 4900 passengers + 1700 crew). The maiden port call was on May 25, ending here a 15-day Panama Canal repositioning from Miami Florida. Following Alaskan season's end (October), NCL Bliss had scheduled all four 7-day roundtrips from Los Angeles to Mexican Riviera ports (Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cabo), with departures October 13, 20, 27.
For 2018 (3rd consecutive record year), Port Los Angeles reported a record-breaking container shipping volume - 9,458749 million TEUs, or 1,2% increase over 2017. Year's monthly record was for October - 952,554 TEUs (27,2% increase over Oct 2017). This was the most cargo in a single month in seaport’s 111-year history. TEU imports increased 26,7% (to 485,824 units). TEU exports increased 20,5% (to 173,824 units). Empty TEUs increased 25% (to 292,906 units). Port's previous record (924,225 TEUs) was in November 2017. December 2018 was port's busiest December ever - 903,258 TEUs (15,9% increase over Dec 2017), including imports (468,906 TEUs) and exports (147,965 TEUs).
January 2019 became port's busiest January ever with total 852,449 TEU-containers - or 5,4% increase over January 2018. Imports grew 1,7% (to 429,923 TEUs). Exports dropped 3,4% (to 144,993 TEUs). Empty TEUs increased 17,7% (to 277,534).
In October 2019, Port Los Angeles announced plans for an Outer Harbor Cruise Terminal project (berths 46 and 50). The development project includes the construction of a new passenger terminal on LA Waterfront's south end. The 13-acres sized site is currently used as a special event venue and a temporary dock for cruise liners. Optional for the developer would be to operate year-round the existing LA cruise terminal (berths 91-93) and seasonally the facilities at berths 54-55.
In 2019, the cruise port handled 111 ship calls and around 518,000 tourists, in 2019 - 124 calls (~650,000 tourists), and for 2020 were booked 126 berthings with estimated ~705,000 passengers. Port's record year for cruise shipping was 2008 when it handled 265 ship calls and 1,195897 million passengers.
Port Long Beach CA
Port Long Beach is currently ranked USA's largest containership port - after the adjoining Port Los Angeles. Both ports are the country's main gateway for the shipping trade with Asia.
The port covers a total area of approx 5 mi2 / 13 km2 (land) and has approx 25 mi / 40 km long waterfront (in Long Beach City). The port is located approx 3 mi / 3 km southwest of the city's downtown, and approx 25 mi / 40 km south of downtown LA.
The port supports 316,000+ Californian jobs, handles USD 180 billion in annual trade and via 175 shipping lines is connected to 217 seaports worldwide. Port's combined annual shipping trade value (imports and exports) is nearly USD 100 billion, with ~USD 5,6 billion in California State and tax revenues. Annually, USD 800+ million is spent on Long Beach City-based distribution services. In LA, Long Beach port operations generate 230,000+ jobs, with USD 10+ billion going annually to Los Angeles City distribution services.
In 2017, Port Long Beach reported a record year for its cargo shipping volumes, handling 7,54+ million TEUs (containers) - an 11% increase over 2016, when were handled a total of 6,775171 million TEUs. In November alone, through the port were moved 612,659 TEUs, which was a 14,7% increase over Nov 2016. Long Beach is among the world’s largest cargo ports, and USA's gateway for Transpacific (USA-Asia) shipping trade.
As of 2019, Port Long Beach is ranked USA's second largest and is connected to 217 seaports worldwide via 175 shipping lines. It handles around USD 180 billion in shipping trade annually and supports hundreds of thousands of maritime jobs.
In May 2017, port's containerized cargo traffic was 687,427 TEUs (6% increase over May 2017). In 2018-Q1 (January-March), the Port Long Beach reported its record Q1 results, with its terminals handling nearly 1,9 million TEUs - or 19,4% increase over 2017-Q1.
In the period April 2017 - February 2018 was completely renovated, redesigned and expanded Carnival's Long Beach Cruise Terminal (read more in port's terminal section). On February 10, 2018, Carnival Cruise Line (tenant) reopened "Pier H" terminal after the berth was electrified.
In December 2018, APM Terminals (The Hague-based international container terminal operator) set a new record for company's North American operations with handled 27,846 TEUs on a single vessel. The operation (at Pier 400) included complete discharge of import cargo and complete load of export TEUs plus empty containers to balance the boxship Eleonora Maersk (capacity 15,500 TEUs). The previous record (24,846 TEUs) was on Maersk Evora ship in October 2017. Port Long Beach's Pier 400 APM terminal (sized 2 km2) is one of the few fitted with large gantry cranes that can serve such boxships with 10 high (TEUs) above deck stowage. These cranes can reach 22 container rows across the beam of these mega-ships.
On April 30, 2019, Long Beach Container Terminal (LBCT LLC) was sold for USD 1,78 billion to a consortium led by the US company Macquarie Infrastructure Management Inc. Terminal's previous owner was OOIL (Orient Overseas International Ltd) - subsidiary of China's COSCO SHIPPING Holdings Co Ltd. As part of the deal, OOCL (Orient Overseas Container Line Ltd / subsidiary of OOIL) entered into a 20-year (until 2039) Container Stevedoring and Terminal Services Agreement with LBCT.
Los Angeles cruise terminal
The ships dock at two Los Angeles cruise ports – Port of Los Angeles (San Pedro) and Port of Long Beach. More popular Los Angeles cruise port is the Word Cruise Center at San Pedro.
(NEW) Outer Harbor Cruise Terminal (Los Angeles)
In early-October 2019 were announced plans for the construction of a new cruise port terminal in LA (near Cabrillo Way Marina). The "Outer Harbor Cruise Terminal" is adjacent to the Cabrillo Way Marina and a boat repair yard. Currently, the building is used as an event space and only occasionally for berthing of cruise liners.
The new cruise port bidder (developer to be announced by the end of 2019) will upgrade and enlarge terminal’s facilities and berths and will manage the dock/wharf and building's day-to-day operations.
In January 2020 were officially announced port's plans for two new terminals (in the Outer Harbor) - Berth 46 and Berth 50. They both will have capacity to handle ships with LOA length 335 m (1100 ft), max draft capacity 5000 passengers. Both facilities are planned as multifunctional - to double as event spaces (during no-ship days and off-season) housing musical concerts, exhibitions, conferences, etc. By this project, both berths (concrete wharves) will be upgraded with shoreside power (cold ironing) capabilities and dedicated parking areas.
World Cruise Center Terminals (San Pedro)
The two terminals of World Cruise Center are located 18 ml (29 km) away from LAX (Los Angeles International Airport), direction South. The first Los Angeles cruise port terminal has two berths 91 and 92. the second one has only one – 93. Two or three larger cruise ships can dock here.
San Pedro Terminal's address is: "Port of Los Angeles, Berths 91-93, World Cruise Center, San Pedro, CA 90731".
Parking is USD 15 per day (Port Authority prices are subject to change). The facilities in the San Pedro terminal include check-in, cafes, bars, shops, parking area, taxi ranks.
Long Beach Cruise Terminal (Carnival)
The second Los Angeles cruise ship terminal is located approx 23 ml (37 km) away from LAX, and 5 ml (8 km) away from World Cruise Center Terminals. It was inaugurated in 2003 for Carnival Corporation ships exclusively. The white dome building (former Spruce Goose aeroplane dome) now houses the cruise terminal (Pier H).
Facilities here include bars, cafes, restaurants, shops, check-in, parking space, taxi ranks. Long Beach Terminal's address: is "Port of Long Beach, 231 Windsor Way, Long Beach, CA 90802". Parking is USD 17 per day (Port Authority prices are subject to change).
In October 2016, Carnival Cruise Line signed an agreement with Port Long Beach and with the landlord (Urban Commons) to expand the "Long Beach Cruise Terminal" facility in order to accommodate larger vessels and enhance terminal operations.
Carnival operates Long Beach terminal since 2003, but using only part of the Geodesic Dome (former museum). The new agreement gave the company 100% use of the Dome (customs and passenger check-in) for its cruise operations.
Construction works started on April 12, 2017. Renovations increased the facility from approx 66,000 to 142,000 ft2 (6130 to 13190 m2). Following the improvements, Long Beach Cruise Terminal now allows docking of larger-sized vessels and also provides additional space for 2-way passenger shipping operations. This enables embarking passengers to access the facility prior to completion of the previous cruise disembarkation process.
Development plans also included expansion of portside cold-ironing capacity to accommodate larger vessels. Shore power allows berthed cruise ships to shut down their main diesel engines and plug into the city's electrical grid, using hydroelectricity for all the onboard services. The technology greatly reduces exhaust emissions in port.
Carnival also made enhancements to the area surrounding the Dome and the adjacent "RMS Queen Mary" (former Cunard liner) city attraction. Terminal's parking capacity was also expanded to accommodate future growth. The multi-million dollar renovated and expanded Carnival cruise terminal was reopened on February 10, 2018. with the arrival of Carnival Splendor. The berth was also electrified (equipped with shoreside electrical power).
In 2017, Carnival had 3 vessels homeported year-round in LA (Long Beach) - Inspiration and Imagination (both for short Baja Mexico cruises) and Miracle (for Mexican Riviera, Hawaii and Alaskan roundtrips).
Los Angeles tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
Near San Pedro
- Los Angeles Maritime Museum: explore the history of the harbor in Los Angeles. It is located half mile away from the Los Angeles cruise port, direction South, in the Municipal Ferry Terminal at Harbor and 6th.
- Ports O’ Call: a mile away from the Los Angeles cruise port, direction South. Great place where you will find shops, restaurants, galleries and bars in New England seaside town atmosphere.
- Red Car Trolley Ride: a vintage line connecting the Marina and the World Cruise Center. It stops by the LA Maritime Museum and Ports O’ Call.
- Abalone Cove: amazing, lively beach located 4 miles away from Los Angeles cruise port, direction West. Enjoy stunning Catalina island views or rock pool at the Sacred Cove Bay.
Near Long Beach
- Queen Mary: the famous ocean liner just by the terminal. It was in service from 1936 to 1976 for Cunard Line. Currently she is part hotel part museum.
- Aquarium of The Pacific, Shoreline Aquatic Park: you will need just 5 minutes by car to get there. Enjoy the sea with its habitants in the Aquarium of The Pacific and walk through the Shoreline Aquatic Park to discover amazing green spaces.
- The Naples Canals: explore the Naples Canal and the Rivo Alto Canal.
- Rancho Los Cerritos Ranch: explore the tradition of Mexican, Spanish and American California origins in a combination.
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