Carnival Cruise Line marked the beginning
of a multimillion-dollar renovation of its Long Beach Cruise Terminal facility
to accommodate larger ships and enhance terminal operations. A “FUNstruction”
groundbreaking ceremony included remarks by City of Long Beach Mayor Robert
Garcia, President and CEO of Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau Steve
Goodling and Carnival Cruise Line Vice President Strategic and Commercial Port
Development Carlos Torres de Navarra among others.
Carnival unveiled its design plans for the
terminal during the celebration. The renovation will increase the space
Carnival currently occupies in the terminal facility from approximately 66,000
square feet to 142,000 square feet. The expansion and new design will allow for
a dramatically enhanced passenger experience and operational flow within the
terminal. In addition, the project includes the expansion of portside
“cold-ironing” to enable larger ships to plug into the local electric grid to
reduce exhaust emissions while docked. Further enhancements to the area
surrounding the geodesic dome which houses the cruise terminal and the adjacent
Queen Mary attraction are also planned.
“The start of construction on this project further cements our
commitment to the City of Long Beach and the outstanding relationships we have
built with the leaders and people of this community,” said Carnival’s Torres de
Navarra. “Our operations bring tremendous economic benefit to this area and
expose hundreds of thousands of people a year to this great city. These new
terminal enhancements will further grow that positive impact,” he added.
Carnival has run the Long Beach Cruise
Terminal — the United States’ only privately operated cruise terminal — since
2003. It is one of the busiest terminals in North America, with ships docking
at the facility five days per week resulting in a more than 70% utilization
rate. Carnival has used just a portion of the geodesic dome that housed Howard
Hughes’ “Spruce Goose” museum attraction for customs and guest check-in
activities. The renovation will make 100 percent of the dome available for
Carnival’s cruise operations.
“The expansion of the Carnival Cruise terminal is great news for Long
Beach and great news for visitors to our city,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert
Garcia. “The added capacity will bring more tourism and economic activity to
Long Beach, and we’re pleased to continue working with Carnival for many years
Currently, Carnival operates three ships
from the Long Beach Cruise Terminal — Carnival Inspiration and Carnival
Imagination, which offer three- and four-day Baja cruises, and Carnival Miracle
which operates week-long Mexican Riviera voyages along with 14- and 15-day
cruises to Hawaii and Alaska. In 2018
when the larger Carnival Splendor replaces Carnival Miracle, the line will
carry more than 700,000 guests annually from Southern California, operating
nearly 250 three- to 14-day cruises a year.
In addition to marking the start of the
renovation of the cruise terminal, Torres de Navarra announced a donation of
$25,000 to the Mayor’s Fund for Education. The donation, made jointly by
Carnival Cruise Line and Carnival Foundation, is part of Carnival Corporation’s
ongoing support for nonprofit educational and charitable organizations in the
homeport communities where its brands operate.