With some major contracts awarded and others expected to be approved in the coming months, Port Canaveral remains on course to have its new cruise terminal ready by mid-2020. Port Canaveral officials updated port commissioners and the public this week on where things stand for the planned $153 million project.
As previously announced, the new Cruise Terminal 3 will be used by Carnival Cruise Line, and will be the home to a new Carnival ship that will enter service in 2020. The still-unnamed ship will be the largest in Carnival’s fleet and the first North American-based cruise ship to powered by liquefied natural gas.
The 180,000-ton ship will have a capacity of 5,286 passengers, based on double-occupancy of its cabins, and a maximum capacity of 6,500. It is likely to have an onboard crew of about 2,000. The terminal will be on the south side of the port, east of the Cove restaurant district and west of Jetty Park. Cruise Terminal 3 will be Port Canaveral’s largest construction project ever.
Among the Cruise Terminal 3 contracts already awarded:
• Rush Marine of Titusville was awarded a $38.6 million contract for the water-side “marine works” contract from among six finalists. The project includes removing an existing outdated pier, and replacing it with a 1,319-foot berth. It is targeted for completion in December 2019.
Crowe said the bid package included $2.5 million to cover for tariffs that might have to be paid for imported steel for the project.
• Adelte of Barcelona, Spain, was awarded a $5.25 million contract to construct two passenger boarding bridges for the new cruise terminal, as well as a $145,000 for five years of preventive maintenance service on the bridges. It was competing against FMT of Trelleborg, Sweden, for the project.
• Bermello Ajamil & Partners of Fort Lauderdale is under contract for the terminal design work. Its current contract totals $5.76 million, based on the latest modifications to the project sought by Carnival.
Two major contracts have yet to be awarded.
• Ivey’s Construction and the Suffolk/H.J. High team are the finalists for the contract for constructing the 185,000-square-foot terminal building. That contract is expected to be awarded in January, with construction beginning soon after that.
The terminal will have a capacity for 3,775 on the first floor and 4,362 on the second floor, with a separate baggage building and warehouse.
The port has budgeted $75 million for the terminal construction contract.
The project is targeted for completion in May 2020.
• The port in January also expects to award a contract for a five-story, 1,762-space parking garage to serve the new cruise terminal.
The port has budgeted $25 million for the garage project.
Port officials say they are working to coordinate details of the project with not only Carnival, but also U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the ground transportation companies that bring passengers to and from the port.
The project also involves new roadways and utilities.
Bill Crowe, the port’s vice president of engineering construction and facilities, told port commissioners that the estimates for the total cost of the project have fluctuated over time, with the highest estimate exceeding $170 million.
That estimate was based on potential cost increases related the costs of massive piles to support the foundation of the terminal and the garage.
“It was an incredible jump” in price, Crowe said.
But, upon further review, it was determined that the size of the pile structures could be decreased, thereby lowering overall project costs.
Crowe said he now is confident with the “more reasonable” $153 million estimate.
After hearing the updates, Canaveral Port Authority Chairman Wayne Justice said he is impressed with the work port staff to keep the project on track.
“It’s going to be started on time and it’s going to be done in a timely manner,” Justice said after the meeting.
Miami-based Carnival has agreed to contribute $50 million toward construction of the cruise terminal.
Port Canaveral Chief Executive Officer John Murray said Carnival will pay the $50 million to Port Canaveral through a special fee, called a “capital cost recovery charge.” The port will charge Carnival for every passenger getting on or off a ship at Port Canaveral until the $50 million total is reached.
Murray said the fee is likely to be about $2.74 per passenger boarding or leaving a Carnival ship at the port. The port will assess Carnival the fee, but it is not likely to actually show up on passenger ticket charges.
As part of the deal, Carnival will guarantee that it will provide Port Canaveral a minimum of $14.5 million a year for its “passenger use charge,” up from the current $7 million a year.
Those fees bundle the charges the port charges cruise lines for dockage, line-handling, harbormaster services and water, among other things.
The port currently charges Carnival $11.54 per passenger, and that charge would increase $12.54 per passenger under the new contract.
The passenger use charge and the guarantee both will increase by 2.5 percent a year in each of the first five years of the contract, then would increase by 3 percent a year in each of the next 20 years of the contract.
Berman is government editor at FLORIDA TODAY.