Port Canaveral starts construction of new Cruise Terminal 3 complex
At a space-themed ceremony today, the Canaveral Port Authority and longtime cruise partner Carnival Cruise Line officially broke ground for construction of Port Canaveral’s new Cruise Terminal 3 complex, the company said in its release. The new terminal, dubbed the Launch Pad, will be the home of Mardi Gras, the cruise line’s newest and most innovative ship, beginning in 2020. Port Authority Commissioners and the Port’s leadership team joined Carnival Cruise Line executives for the ceremonial groundbreaking at the project site as NASA’s “Spaceman” planted a Carnival Cruise Line flag on a simulated lunar landscape.
The event theme, “Go for Launch,” was a nod to the Port’s key role with the U.S. space program and the terminal’s futuristic design, which was inspired by nearby Kennedy Space Center. The $163 million terminal project – the largest in the Port’s 65-year history – is scheduled for completion in May 2020 and will be ready for the arrival of Mardi Gras to her year-round Port Canaveral homeport in October 2020.
The contract to build the two-story, 187,000 sq. ft. terminal facility and adjacent six-story parking garage was awarded to Merritt Island, Florida-based Ivey’s Construction. The terminal will feature a high-tech baggage processing facility and a state-of-the-art check-in and security area on its second floor, with kiosks and seating for 1,700 guests. The six-story 692,000 sq. ft. parking garage will accommodate 1,800 vehicles.
Construction of the cruise terminal’s marine facility got underway last year with a contract awarded to Titusville, Florida-based contractor RUSH Marine to remove the existing pier structures at the site and build a new 1,309-foot-long berth for Mardi Gras. Substantial completion of the project is scheduled for December 2019.
Port Canaveral’s Launch Pad will be homeport to Carnival’s largest and most innovative cruise ship, Mardi Gras, which will be powered by liquified natural gas (LNG) – part of Carnival Corporation’s “green cruising” platform. Mardi Gras will be the first cruise ship in North America to be powered by this clean fuel technology. Port Canaveral has worked with federal, state and local public safety and regulatory officials to ensure the Port’s safety readiness for the ship’s arrival. Fuel providers will employ widely used and proven safe best practices of a ship-to-ship “bunkering” refueling, which is regulated by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Currently under construction in Meyer Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras will arrive at Port Canaveral mid-October 2020 and will feature BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, 20 passenger decks and six distinctive theme zones of fun, dining and entertainment: Grand Central; the French Quarter with Emeril’s Bistro 1396, the first restaurant at sea created by famed New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse; La Piazza; Summer Landing; Lido; and the Ultimate Playground.
Carnival named its newest cruise ship after its first cruise ship. The original 27,000-ton Mardi Gras, a converted trans-Atlantic liner, entered service in 1972 and popularized cruise vacations in the United States, helping Carnival become the largest cruise company in the world today. In March 1991, the 1,241-guest Mardi Gras became one of the first Carnival ships to homeport at Port Canaveral, where she offered three- and four-day cruises to the Bahamas until she and sister ship Carnivale were replaced by the Carnival Fantasy in October 1993.
ABOUT PORT CANAVERAL
Led by the elected five-member Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners and Port Director and CEO, Captain John Murray, Port Canaveral is one of the world's most dynamic and exciting ports. A world-class gateway for cruises, cargo, recreation and logistics, as well as a gateway to new frontiers, including space, Port Canaveral hosts more than 4.5 million revenue cruise passengers through its state-of-the-art terminals and more than 6 million of tons of cargo annually, including bulk, break-bulk, project, and containerized. The Port is strategically located to service all Florida markets, as well as the Southeastern United States. In addition to world class cruise facilities and diverse cargo operations, Port Canaveral offers more recreational opportunities than all other Florida deep-water seaports combined, including public parks, free public boat ramps, marinas, an entertainment district, and the seven-story interactive exhibit and event venue Exploration Tower.