Carnival Cruise Line has signed an agreement to more than double the size of its Long Beach terminal to accommodate larger ships.
Under the deal announced Monday with landlord Urban Commons and the City of Long Beach, the terminal facility will grow from about 66,000 square feet to 142,000 square feet, according to a Carnival news release. Financial details were not disclosed.
Carnival has operated the Long Beach Cruise Terminal since 2003 using part of the dome that formerly housed Howard Hughes’ giant Spruce Goose airplane next to the Queen Mary. The agreement gives Carnival full use of the dome, allowing for larger ships and additional space to accommodate two-way operations, enabling embarking guests to access the terminal prior to completion of disembarkation, the company said.
Construction is slated to be completed in late 2017.
“For years we have been working toward reaching an agreement to expand the Long Beach Cruise Terminal to accommodate larger ships on the West Coast, and we’re thrilled to finally be able to move forward with our plans to assume full usage of the Dome, making Long Beach one of our largest home port facilities,” Christine Duffy, president of Carnival, said in a statement.
Two Carnival ships now operate out of the terminal: one ferrying passengers on three- and four-day Baja California cruises, and another that embarks on longer voyages to the Mexican Riviera, Hawaii, and Alaska.
The Carnival expansion comes as the city and Urban Commons are working on much bigger plans for the Queen Mary and about 45 acres of land surrounding the historic ship. Urban Commons in April took over operations of the Queen Mary, which next year will mark 50 years in Long Beach, after the city granted it a 66-year master lease.
The downtown real estate and investment firm said it plans to renovate the ship and create an entertainment, dining, and retail center adjacent to it.
Mayor Robert Garcia also formed the 12-member Queen Mary Land Development Task Force, which in July released its recommended guiding principles for the project, such as building a waterfront promenade and keeping the ship the focal point of the development.
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