Big Changes in Store For Port Canaveral

Port Canaveral 30 year plan carnival
Port Canaveral's 30-year plan includes three new cruise terminals. - Photo by Port Canaveral

Port Canaveral officials have received the green light from the Port Authority for their 30-year Strategic Master Plan. The plan, which has been in the works for over two years, will add up to three more full-service cruise terminals as well as changes and expansion for the port’s shipping, recreation, and spaceport infrastructure. 

Behind PortMiami, Port Canaveral is the world’s second-busiest cruise port, and plays a major role in the Space Coast’s tourism industry. Currently, there are five full-service cruise terminals at the port, with cruise passenger traffic hitting 4.5 million last year. That number is predicted to top 8 million before 2040. 

Based on expected growth in business, Luis Ajamil, who worked with Port Canaveral to create the plan, projected that there will need to be three new terminals and updates to existing Terminal 5 that will be required by 2020, 2025, 2031, and 2045. Ajamil estimated that the total cost for all improvements outlined in the plan, encompassing both cruising and other operations, will be $2.54 billion. He also stated that the plan is financially sound, and won’t require additional taxes or financial subsidies.

port canaveral 30 year plan aerial

An image from the port's Strategic Master Plan presentation - Photo by Port Canaveral

Two more terminals will be added on the east side of the port, and the existing Terminal 5 is set to be expanded by 2031. The demolition and recreation of Terminal 3 is already in the works, and is set to be finished and open in 2019. Adjacent to that is Terminal 2, which will be revamped and has a targeted completion date of 2025. The potential eighth terminal’s location hasn’t been determined yet.

Alongside the new cruising facilities, other notable additions include an intermodal transportation center, with parking facilities, a rental car hub, and shuttles to the cruise terminals, alongside a new liquefied natural gas facility to service newer ships that run on LNG. There will be a central waterfront area in the Cove, which would include areas for both work boats and commercial fishing operations. The port has also proposed space for an aquarium, which would be developed by Brevard Zoo; a recent addition to the plan based on feedback from the public.

Port Canaveral CEO Captain John Murray emphasized that the Strategic Master Plan is “a high-level blueprint that looks to the future of the port with information that we know today. The plan presents various opportunities over the 30-year planning horizon, but not every project in this plan may become a reality.” Things can change in the future, but the plan provides a guide for what Port Canaveral is looking to accomplish moving forward.

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