PHOTO: Carnival Cruise Line and the City of Long Beach begin Long Beach Cruise Terminal expansion. (photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line, copyright ©CaughtintheMoment.com)
Bigger things are literally on the way from Carnival Cruise Line.
The company and City of Long Beach have begun construction, or “FUNstruction” as Carnival says, on its terminal expansion. The multimillion-dollar project will allow larger ships to be accommodated with enhanced operations.
Present at a groundbreaking event were City of Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, President and CEO of Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau Steve Goodling, Carnival Cruise Line Vice President Strategic and Commercial Port Development Carlos Torres de Navarra and more.
“The expansion of the Carnival Cruise terminal is great news for Long Beach and great news for visitors to our city,” said Mayor Garcia, in a press release.
“The added capacity will bring more tourism and economic activity to Long Beach, and we’re pleased to continue working with Carnival for many years to come.”
The Long Beach Cruise Terminal is the U.S.’ only privately operated cruise terminal and has been run by Carnival since 2003. Its customs and guest check-in are housed in a portion of the geodesic dome that formerly contained Howard Hughes’ “Spruce Goose” museum.
However, as one of the busiest North American terminals docking ships five days per week, the expansion will now utilize the dome’s entirety.
In total, Carnival’s usable space will increase from around 66,000 square-feet to 142,000 and improve the overall guest experience. Other enhancements include expanding the port’s “cold-ironing” abilities to allow larger ships to retrieve power from the local electric grid and reduce exhaust emissions when docked.
The surrounding space towards the Queen Mary is also set to be updated.
“The start of construction on this project further cements our commitment to the City of Long Beach and the outstanding relationships we have built with the leaders and people of this community,” said Carnival’s Torres de Navarra, in a press release.
“Our operations bring tremendous economic benefit to this area and expose hundreds of thousands of people a year to this great city. These new terminal enhancements will further grow that positive impact.”
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Torres de Navarra also revealed a donation of $25,000 to the Mayor’s Fund for Education issued jointly by Carnival Cruise Line and Carnival Foundation. It’s all part of Carnival Corporation’s support of nonprofit educational and charitable groups located where its cruise lines operate.
Carnival curently sails the Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Imagination and Carnival Miracle from Long Beach. The former two depart on 3- and 4-day Baja voyages while the latter embarks on 7-day Mexican Riviera sailings, as well as 14- and 15-day cruises to Hawaii and Alaska.
In 2018, the bigger Carnival Splendor will replace the Carnival Miracle as Carnival Cruise Line will sail with over 700,000 guests per year from Southern California.
By then, it will operate almost 250 3- to 14-day voyages annually.