Massive Updates Coming to Popular Caribbean Cruise Port

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San Juan Cruise Port has announced a strong 30-year partnership with Global Ports Holding for massive upgrades and updates to the rapidly-growing cruise port over the next few years.

The goal of the $350 million investment renovation will be to position San Juan as a leading port both for homeporting as well as port of call operations in the Caribbean.

San Juan Port Investment and Expansion Coming

During the Seatrade Cruise Global event in Miami this week, San Juan Cruise Port announced details to renovate and expand the popular destination, updating its facilities to ensure continued operations with newer, larger cruise ships in the years to come.

Global Ports Holding will now invest $100 million in the initial phase of the project, which will focus on critical infrastructure repairs for Pier 4 and Pan American Piers I and II. Upgrades to all terminal buildings and the passenger walkway are also anticipated to be part of the project’s initial phase.

“We are delighted to welcome San Juan Cruise Port into the world’s largest cruise port network. In addition to being a fantastic destination, San Juan is a strategically important port that is perfectly positioned to play a pivotal role in Eastern and Southern Caribbean itineraries as a homeport for decades to come,” said Mehmet Kutman, Global Ports Holding Chairman & CEO.

“This is a dream come true. After so many years in the industry making recommendations about how to improve the port at San Juan, we finally have the opportunity to do something about it,” said Federico González-Denton, San Juan Cruise Port General Manager. “The investment being made by GPH to revamp the port will propel San Juan to a whole new level as it prepares to welcome an ever-growing number of passengers.”

Global Port Holding San Juan Event
Global Port Holding San Juan Event

While exact details of the project are yet to be developed, the upgrades will include modernization to improve technology, security, and sustainability for the port, as well as to improve the port experience for all visitors and incorporate local retailers, artists, and experiences as a boon for the local economy.

“Our investment in this port will see hundreds of millions of dollars poured into the development and expansion of San Juan Cruise Port which will transform the port infrastructure, significantly improve the cruise port experience for passengers, and create greater opportunities for local businesses to benefit from the anticipated growth in passenger volumes,” said Jan Fomferra, San Juan Cruise Port President.

“We look forward to delivering a world-class cruise port that will benefit Puerto Rico and the entire region, boosting the economies of the entire Caribbean cruise industry for many years to come.”

Phase 2 Will Expand the Port for Larger Ships

The second phase of the project will be an estimated $250 million expansion but is contingent on continuing increases in port traffic to pre-pandemic levels.

When that occurs consistently, further investment will be made for a new pier and state-of-the-art homeport cruise terminal at Piers 11 and 12. The plan is for that new expansion to be capable of supporting the world’s largest cruise ships, including the Icon class from Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Cruise Line’s Excel class, and the newly announced larger class from Norwegian Cruise Line.

San Juan Cruise Port welcomed 1.8 million unique cruise passengers in 2019 – 400,000 of which were homeport passengers – and is the third largest cruise port in the Global Ports Holding network.

San Juan Cruise Port
Render Courtesy: Global Ports Holding

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“We are excited to have started operations, as San Juan continues to welcome record numbers of cruisers and look forward to delivering on our plans to bring the iconic San Juan Cruise Port to its rightful leadership position in the Caribbean cruise industry for the benefit of all Puerto Ricans,” said Kutman.

“We remain dedicated to expanding our presence and impact in the region and to exploring new opportunities for growth and collaboration in the Caribbean.”

Cruising to San Juan

Currently, a wide variety of cruise lines include San Juan on various itineraries. Ships from Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, MSC Cruises, TUI Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Virgin Voyages, Norwegian Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, and more offer the port either as a port of call or homeport.

San Juan is the capital city of Puerto Rico and offers cruise visitors a wide range of vibrant attractions and experiences, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, historical tours, rum tasting, deep sea fishing, rainforest hikes, cave explorations, and much more.

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