Port Canaveral Plans New Cruise Terminal to Meet Growing Demand

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Port Canaveral, already one of the world’s busiest passenger cruise ports, has announced a plan for a brand new cruise terminal to open in just two years. The fast expansion is possible by strategic use of existing berth space with planned modifications to accommodate a variety of the largest ships from multiple cruise lines.

The new terminal will be at the existing North 8 berth space on the port’s north side, sharing the basin with Cruise Terminal 5 but improving on the facility to maximize its usage flexibility for different cruise brands.

Cruise Terminal 5 is most frequently – though not exclusively – used by Royal Caribbean International ships. The new Cruise Terminal 6 would be available for different lines depending on overall scheduling and operational needs.

Plan for New Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal
Plan for New Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal

“We have cruise partners with immediate needs to locate assets in Florida and Port Canaveral is where they want to be,” said Captain John Murray, Port Canaveral CEO. “Our ability to efficiently bring a new cruise terminal online was key to retaining and growing this important business segment that supports many jobs and delivers high value to our regional and state economy.”

The new terminal will be able to be built quickly because much of the infrastructure is already in place. Furthermore, the location of the new terminal on the port’s north side ensures minimal disruption to current operations, which will permit faster construction while accommodating existing cruise schedules.

North 8 berth was built in 2018 with flexibility in mind and already features 1,020 linear feet for docking. The new construction will extend that to 1,344 feet to accommodate larger vessels.

Read Also: Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal – Your One-Stop Guide

A new parking garage able to serve 3,000 vehicles, as well as roadway improvements and a flyover ramp to connect the facility to State Road 401, are part of the development plan for the new cruise terminal. An additional area for future parking expansion is also further east of the new site.

While the overall timeline for construction is not yet finalized, the planned completion date is summer 2026. This is an ambitious timeline and will help foster additional growth and growing demand for cruise travel from the Space Coast.

New Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal Planned
New Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal Planned

“A new cruise terminal and the business it will deliver builds on our Board’s commitment to the economic prosperity of our Port community,” said Micah Loyd, Chairman of the Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners. “This proactive, business-oriented strategy reaffirms our commitment to ensure the State of Florida continues to prosper from cruise tourism and remains the ‘Cruise Capital of the World.’”

The official announcement of the new cruise terminal comes two months after Port Canaveral announced that a local marina’s lease would not be removed in preparation for port enhancements. That local marina, however, is on the south side of the port facilities.

Cruising From Port Canaveral

Port Canaveral offers sailings from various cruise lines, including Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line.

In addition, several cruise lines include Port Canaveral as a port of call visit on select itineraries. MSC Cruises and Royal Caribbean International both offer day visits to the port, giving guests the opportunity to enjoy beaches, Kennedy Space Center, and other local attractions.

Cruise Ships in Port Canaveral, Florida
Cruise Ships in Port Canaveral, Florida

Over the next two years, while the new cruise terminal is under construction, great growth is expected at Port Canaveral, beginning with Royal Caribbean’s sixth Oasis-class ship, Utopia of the Seas, which is just weeks away from arriving at her new homeport.

In November, two cruise lines will begin their first-ever homeport operations from Port Canaveral. Princess Cruises will homeport Caribbean Princess from Port Canaveral for 38 sailings, while Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Equinox will offer a full winter of Caribbean and Bahamas cruises from the port.

Disney Cruise Line’s upcoming Disney Treasure, sister ship to Disney Wish, will also homeport from Port Canaveral beginning in December, and Royal Caribbean’s second Icon-class ship, Star of the Seas, is scheduled to join the port’s lineup in August 2025.

With such a great variety of cruise lines, ship styles, and itinerary options available, the expansion at Port Canaveral will be very welcome and will offer even more options to eager cruise travelers.

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