Port Canaveral to build new cruise terminal to accommodate growth

Port Canaveral commissioners decided what area they’ll build a new terminal in the coming years.

Following the pandemic, Port Canaveral’s experiences rapid growth. Yearly revenue is increasing, and commissioners say it’s time to build on the momentum and think about changing the layout to accommodate the growth.

"We’re seeing the benefit of that now as the bigger ships, more ships, new brands. Port Canaveral in many ways has been discovered," said Port CEO John Murray.

Just last month, the port saw 600,000 travelers come through its gates. By the end of 2023, they’re predicting 3 million passengers, and in the next few years, those passengers will be sailing out of a new terminal.

"There’s a lot of property at that end of the port that’s not as efficiently utilized as it could be and we think the time is proper to re-invent that area and create more efficiencies, create more opportunities," Murray added.

The south side of the port surrounding the Blue Points Marina will most likely change when construction starts.

"Looking at the least amount of impact to our port community, the Blue Points area comes to the top of the list," Murray said. He made the announcement publicly during the board’s commission meeting on May 24.

Analysts say creating a new cruise terminal will also mean more economic impact statewide.

"The contribution of Port Canaveral is going to continue to have a tremendous impact on the state of Florida in the coming years," said Rich Higginson who also presented to port commissioners on the port’s economic status.

The port already supports 43,000 jobs in the state and pays $2.3 billion in wages, according to Higginson’s report.

"It’s a regional impact we have, but we’re doing what Florida does best. We attract tourism, and having all of these folks come to Port Canaveral and ride on a cruise ship – they’re not just riding on a cruise ship. They’re extending that throughout the state of Florida while they’re here," Murray concluded.