The Port of Los Angeles is planning to build a new cruise terminal in its Outer Harbour to accommodate mega-cruise ships carrying in access of 5,000 passengers, according to Marketing Manager Chris Chase.
“The idea is at this point two new terminals to handle the largest ships out there – minimum design is 5,000-plus passengers,” Chase told Cruise Industry News. “The work we’re doing is: How do we handle these larger ships in the future, and more of them?”
The new terminal if approved will be built at Berths 46 and 50, which are currently used by merchant vessels when other berths are not available. The cruise terminal would be similar in that it will be designed for other uses outside the cruise season.
These alternatives may include being used as a filming location, conference venue, other events and more.
The 13-acre Outer Harbor site is on the tip of a peninsula just past a repair yard. The new facilities will need to offer shoreside power. It will also feature 14 acres for off-site parking.
“Ten years ago we identified this location for our waterfront environmental document, so it’s not a new revelation. We just finally appear to have a business case to justify having some investment in that location,” Chase said.
Los Angeles is currently experiencing a cruise renaissance with a boom in passenger numbers. In 2019, more than 650,000 passengers visited the city aboard 124 cruise ship calls, up from 518,904 on 111 calls in 2018. In 2020, the city expects to receive 705,000 on 126 cruise calls.
The Port of Los Angeles expects to break the 1 million mark by 2025, a number it hasn’t reached since 2008 when 1,195,897 passengers arrived on 265 sailings.
Each time a cruise ship calls at the Port of Los Angeles, it adds an estimated US $1 million into the local economy, according to Ports America, the port operator.
The Port of Los Angeles is one of two main cruise port in LA, the other being Long Beach, where Carnival Cruise Line’s new Carnival Panorama homeports year-round, sailing 7-day cruises to the Mexican Riviera.