Carnival Cruise Line has announced plans to expand its Terminal F cruise facility in PortMiami to accommodate its second Excel-class cruise ship due for delivery in 2022.
The new Excel-class ship will be a sister ship to 2020-due Mardi Gras, at 183,900-gross tons and carrying 5,200 passengers.
When completed, Terminal F will be the third cruise terminal at PortMiami dedicated to Carnival operations and will use facial recognition technology and other elements to move guests through the embarkation process faster.
The expansion plans, which include a commitment by Carnival to keep ships at Terminal F for 20 years, with the option of two additional seven-year extensions, were approved by the Miami-Dade County Commission on Friday.
“With today’s approval, we will move quickly on a plan to remodel and expand Terminal F so that it will accommodate the most innovative class of ship to join our fleet,” said Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line.
“Over the last several months, we have had very constructive discussions with PortMiami and Miami-Dade leaders about our plans for Miami and our goal to enhance and grow our capacity and operations in our hometown,” she added.
“Everyone is very excited about Miami being home to our next liquefied natural gas (LNG) ship in North America and the sister ship to Mardi Gras, which arrives next August, and is generating tremendous enthusiasm,” Duffy said.
The completion of the Terminal F expansion and the arrival of the second Excel-class cruise ship will coincide with Carnival Cruise Line’s 50th anniversary.
Carnival Cruise Line is the largest cruise operator in Miami with more year-round ships sailing from PortMiami than any other cruise line, and the expansion will make Terminal F Carnival’s largest terminal in North America.
The Excel-class is the largest of any in the Carnival fleet. The first LNG-powered ship in the class was AIDAnova, delivered to Carnival Corporation’s German brand AIDA Cruises last year. A second ship, this time for Costa Cruises, is under construction, Costa Smeralda will be delivered later this year.
The first of the giant mega-ships for Carnival Cruise Line will be Mardi Gras, due for delivery in August next year.
She will homeport in Port Canaveral, where Carnival Cruise Line is building a dedicated cruise terminal to accommodate her.