Norfolk VA (Virginia)
Cruise Port schedule, live map, terminals, news
East Coast USA and Canada New England
58 °F / 15 °C
Norfolk VA is a major port city in southeastern Virginia (USA). It borders to the west Elizabeth River and to the north - Chesapeake Bay (Atlantic Ocean). The city has population around 250,000 (metro 1,67 million), ranking it the Virginia state's second-largest - after Virginia Beach (around 450,000 / metro 1,72 million). Four cities (Norfolk, Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton) form together the Hampton Roads Metro featuring one of the world's largest natural harbours.
As an exclusive CCL-Carnival homeport (since 2002), Norfolk's main competitors are the homeports Baltimore MD and Charleston SC (another CCL-exclusive departure port in the USA). Currently, Norfolk's cruise business generates ~USD 153 million annually (in direct spending by cruise companies and passengers/crew), ~USD 170 million in Virginia state wages, and supports ~2800 local jobs.
Norfolk is an "independent city" (not part of any US county) and borders with two of the state's independent cities - Chesapeake (south) and Virginia Beach (east). Norfolk is considered Hampton Roads region's historic, cultural and financial center. It is also a major US military seaport, having the world's largest shipbuilding and shiprepair yard, Here are based US Marine, US Navy's Atlantic Fleet, USCG (Coast Guard), Armed Forces Staff College, Langley Air Force Base (astronaut training centre).
Popular among tourists neighboring leisure and travel destinations are Virginia Beach. Williamsburg and Jamestown. The city is at less than 2 hours drive distance from Richmond, 3 hours from Northern Virginia and 3 hours from Raleigh. The cruise port benefits greatly from the Norfolk International Airport offering 200 flights daily. The airport is just 15-20 min taxi drive from the cruise terminal. Other popular city attractions are the Chrysler Museum and Mariners Museum (with USA's largest mariner artifacts collection - maps, ship models, watercraft, paintings, scrimshaw/bone or ivory engravings and carvings).
The town was established in 1682 and its early growth was based on West Indies trade and shipping of products from North Carolina's and Virginia's plantations. However, virtually all buildings (except St Paul's Church) were destroyed during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783). The city was rebuilt after the war and became an important maritime and shipbuilding center. Its military growth started during WW1 (1914-1918).
In 2022 started works on the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel/HRBT Expansion Project, by the contractor Hampton Roads Connector Partners (HRCP). The company contracted Herrenknecht AG (1977-founded German manufacturer of tunnel boring machines). In 14 months, Herrenknecht constructed (in Schwanau Germany) a large TBM/Tunnel Boring Machine which was shipped (via Antwerp Belgium) to Norfolk VA where was reassembled.
- The TBM has height 46 ft (14 m), length 430 ft (131 m), weight 4500 tons, total power output 8,95 MW (12000 hp).
- The TBM was launched from the South Island (Norfolk side) and bore at a daily rate of ~50 ft (15 m).
- The HRBT Expansion Project's completion is scheduled for November 2025.
- The project (budgeted USD 3,3 billion) was approved in 2017. Works started in October 2020. By the project will be expanded the current 4-lane bridge-tunnel to 6-lanes (in both directions from the interchanges I-664 to I-564), and a new 3-lane bridge-tunnel will be built to carry the eastbound Hampton-Norfolk traffic.
As port of call (on transit itineraries), the Port's business expands each year. Among the large cruise shipping companies visiting Norfolk VA are AIDA, TUI, Princess, NCL-Norwegian, plus several luxury lines with smaller vessels (like Silversea, RSSC-Regent, Oceania, ACL-American Cruise Lines).
Currently, CCL-Carnival Cruise Line is the only company that homeports ships here (since 2002). Among the port's newly added amenities are Wi-Fi (throughout the waterfront area) and new bike lanes (cycle lanes) throughout the city.
Port Norfolk VA (locode USORF) is located in Hampton Roads Harbor (along the rivers Elizabeth and Lafayette) and is managed by Virginia Port Authority. It covers land area approx 2,3 km2 (567 acres/230 hectares), of which 131 acres (0,5 km2) are for container storage.
Norfolk International Terminals is Virginia's largest cargo facility served by Super Post-Panamax gantry cranes (rail-mounted), The terminal has 6 berths and total quay length/berthing of 2020 m (6630 ft) and max draft 15 m (50 ft). This allows docking of large container ships/boxships with max capacity 14000 TEU-containers. Port's current annual capacity is around 1,43 million TEUs. It also offers 719 plugs for reefers (refrigerated containers). Norfolk's container terminal is divided into 3 sections - South (4 berths, area size 272 acres / 1,1 km2), North (2 berths, area 245 acres / 1 km2), and Central (50 acres / 0,2 km2).
The seaport has direct rail access to Heartland Corridor (railway serving freight trains) and is also connected to North Carolina Highway 42. The Port is adjacent to highways 64 and 564, and via Terminal Blvd to Hampton Blvd (Norfolk City), with additional access to roads 17 and 58.
In November 2016, Port Norfolk and Konecranes (Finnish crane manufacturer) signed a USD 217 million contract for building and delivering 86 rail-mounted gantry cranes. The US company TMEIC is the supplier of cranes' drive and control systems.
In July 2018, a heavy-load vessel delivered at Norfolk Terminals the first 6 rail-mounted gantry cranes - part of the USD 375 million port expansion project. Construction works for expanding the NIT (Norfolk International Terminals) started in 2019 and were completed in 2020. By this 3-phases project, the Port's south stack container yard was completely redesigned and fitted with 60 new RMGs (rail-mounted gantry cranes), 10 new shuttle trucks, a total of 30 new RMG TEU stacks. Norfolk Port's annual capacity was increased by 400,000 TEUs (up to 1,83 million).
In August 2019, to the Chesapeake VA-based company Cottrell Contracting (1928-founded) was awarded a USD 10,4 million contract for dredging Norfolk Harbor's Inner Channel. The works started in December with scheduled completion in May 2020, and include pumping of ~840,000 m3 (29,7 million ft3) of sediment from the shipping channel and transporting it to Portsmouth VA's Craney Island. Such dredging works are conducted by the US Army Corps of Engineers (federal agency) and in Norfolk Harbor Channel are required every 12-15 months.
In February 2020, CCL-Carnival signed a 5-year agreement with Norfolk City for seasonal homeporting at Half Moone Cruise Center (2020 through 2025). The deal was signed by Kenneth Alexander (Norfolk City Mayor) and Terry Thornton (CCL's Senior VP of Nautical and Port Operations). As part of the agreement, Norfolk City agreed to upgrade and expand the Half Moone Terminal for handling larger ships and to expedite the traffic by installing a PBB (Passenger Boarding Bridge).
In 2021 started the seasonal homeporting in Norfolk VA of the 4700-passenger liner Carnival Magic - the Port's ever-largest cruise vessel). Season 2021 included a series of 12 roundtrips and seasonal capacity ~50,000 tourists. Carnival Magic's 2023 ex-Norfolk season was CCL's ever-longest - 6 months (May 14th thru October 22nd).
The ship's ex-Norfolk itineraries (roundtrips leaving from Nauticus Half Moone Cruise Center) visit ports in The Bahamas (5-6-day to Bimini Island, Nassau, Freeport, Half Moon Cay), Eastern Caribbean (8-day to Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, Amber Cove Dominicana, San Juan Puerto Rico), Bermuda (6-day to King's Wharf), Canada and New England (8-day to Portland ME, St John NB, Halifax NS, Sydney NS).
CCL's voyages from Norfolk to the Caribbean include 4 sea days (2 southbound plus 2 northbound).
Norfolk VA cruise terminal
Cruise ships in Port Norfolk VA dock at Nauticus Half Moone Cruise Terminal (officially "Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center", aka "Decker Half Moone Center"). This modern facility (construction cost USD 36 million) was inaugurated in 2007. It is located in downtown, on the city's Nauticus Waterfront on the Elizabeth River.
The Nauticus terminal is also close to Norfolk Airport (taxi travel time approx 15 min).
The cruise ship terminal has its own parking area (day rates USD 15) and provides shuttle bus service to and from the terminal.The facility is sized 80,000 ft2 (7430 m2 / 1,8 acres). It is adjacent to the Nauticus (maritime-themed museum and science center) and the museum ship USS Wisconsin (Iowa-class battleship launched in 1943). Throughout the year, the waterfront's Town Point Park area hosts popular festivals and various public events.
As the size of homeported here cruise liners constantly grow, the seaport considers a development project to expand the terminal's berth to allow docking of the world's largest passenger ships.
Port Norfolk VA cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Norfolk VA, Virginia. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
|4 June, 2023|
|9 June, 2023|
|14 June, 2023|
|24 June, 2023|
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