Port Canaveral Not Renewing Marina Lease Due to Terminal Plans

Port Canaveral is taking further steps toward the construction of a new cruise terminal by merging marina facilities at the port.

Port Canaveral has confirmed that Cape Marina will not have their lease renewed when the agreement expires in February 2026. Dock space can be used more efficiently if the two marinas at the port – Cape Marina and Bluepoints Marina – are merged into one facility.

Ultimately, with the space now occupied by Bluepoints Marina is being eyed for a new cruise terminal large enough to accommodate some of today’s largest cruise ships.

Port Canaveral Marina Lease Agreements Changing

Cape Marina has been a fixture on the south side of Port Canaveral since it was founded by Jerry Seaman and William Parker in 1976. The facility covers nearly 10 acres of land with 115 wet dockage slips, 100 storage units, and both active and inactive yard space for local commercial and private watercraft, along with an extensive marina store.

Port officials have described the intention to move the Bluepoints Marina vessels to Cape Marina, better utilizing the overall space. According to WKMG 6 News, the Bluepoints Marina facility, then, would be able to make way for a new cruise terminal.

“We’ve advised [Cape Marina] that we’re not going to renew their lease in this existing format,” said Port Canaveral CEO Captain John Murray. “First step would be to take over what’s there, and then, ultimately, bring in the Bluepoints footprint over to that side.”

The two marina facilities are less than a half-mile apart, but the Bluepoints Marina waterfront space is conveniently located further east, in a better position to service large cruise ships.

Locals Concerned About Changes

Local commercial fishermen have expressed some concerns about the marina changes with hopes that Port Canaveral does not stop supporting the commercial fishing industry.

Cape Marina has also expressed its concern and willingness to work with port authorities to meet future goals, without compromising on the unique nature of Port Canaveral’s mixed patrons.

View of Port Canaveral, Florida
View of Port Canaveral, Florida (Photo Credit: Solarisys)

“Cape Marina recognizes the premium nature of property in Port Canaveral, and we are committed to working collaboratively with the port to meet its objectives while preserving its unique character,” an open letter on the marina’s website reads.

“While we acknowledge the importance of the cruise ship industry and the revenue it generates, we also believe in preserving the hometown flair that businesses like Cape Marina bring to the port.”

Port Canaveral has also indicated that Cape Marina is welcome to submit a bid for the property’s redevelopment once that stage of the project is reached, though at this point there is no established timeline for the overall port redevelopment of that area.

Expansion at Port Canaveral

Adding a new cruise terminal has been a goal for several years, ever since Cruise Terminal 3 – which services Carnival Cruise Line’s first Excel-class ship, Mardi Gras – opened in 2020 (unfortunately amidst the cruise industry shutdown).

Already the busiest passenger cruise port in the world, Port Canaveral is continuing to see phenomenal growth with more cruise lines expanding operations to the Space Coast with convenient access to Orlando.

Royal Caribbean International’s sixth Oasis-class ship, Utopia of the Seas, is scheduled to debut from Port Canaveral in July 2024, offering short cruises aboard the massive vessel, a unique option for cruise fans.

Cruise Ship at Port Canaveral, Florida
Photo Credit: Wirestock Creators / Shutterstock

In November 2024, Princess Cruises will begin operations from Port Canaveral for the first time in the line’s history, with Caribbean Princess offering a variety of itineraries across 38 different departures.

Quickly following Caribbean Princess, Disney Cruise Line’s upcoming Disney Treasure – sister ship to Disney Wish – is also scheduled to homeport from Port Canaveral. Disney Treasure will welcome her first guests on December 21, 2024.

Finally, Royal Caribbean’s second Icon-class ship, Star of the Seas, is also planned to be homeported at Port Canaveral when she launches in the summer of 2025.

With so much amazing growth and larger-than-ever ships coming to Port Canaveral, it is no surprise that a new cruise terminal would be a welcome addition to the facilities, so long as local fisherman still have dock space and all the port’s needs can be balanced.

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