Canaveral Port Authority and cruise partner Carnival Cruise Line have broken ground on Port Canaveral’s new $163m Cruise Terminal 3 complex, called Launch Pad, in Florida, US.
The new terminal will be the home of Mardi Gras, the cruise line’s newest ship, from 2020.
During the programme, a NASA ‘Spaceman’ planted a Carnival Cruise Line flag on a simulated lunar landscape.
‘Go for Launch’, the theme of the event, was an acknowledgement of the port’s key role with the US space programme and the terminal’s futuristic design, which was inspired by the Kennedy Space Center.
The terminal project, the largest in the port’s 65-year history, is scheduled for completion in May 2020 and will be ready for the arrival of Mardi Grasin October 2020.
Officials of Port Canaveral and Carnival Cruise Line held a ‘pre-launch mission’ news conference complete with a mock countdown and then participated in the ground-breaking ceremony on the terminal construction site.
Ivey’s Construction, based in Florida, has been awarded the contract to build the two-storey, 187,000ft² terminal facility and adjacent six-storey parking garage.
The terminal will feature a high-tech baggage processing facility and a modern check-in and security area on its second floor, with kiosks and seating for 1,700 guests.
The 692,000ft² parking garage will accommodate 1,800 vehicles.
Construction on the cruise terminal’s marine facility began in 2018 with a contract to Florida-based RUSH Marine to remove the pier structures at the site and build a 1,309ft berth for Mardi Gras. Substantial completion of the project is scheduled for December 2019.
Carnival’s largest and most innovative cruise ship, Mardi Gras, will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), making it the first cruise ship in North America to be powered by this clean fuel technology.
Port Canaveral authorities have worked with federal, state and local public safety and regulatory officials to ensure the port’s safety readiness for the ship’s arrival.
Fuel providers will employ proven safe best practices of a ship-to-ship bunkering refuelling, which is regulated by the US Coast Guard.
Mardi Gras, currently under construction in Meyer Turku, Finland, will arrive at Port Canaveral in mid-October 2020 and will feature BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, and 20 passenger decks.
It will also feature six distinctive theme zones of fun, dining and entertainment – Grand Central; the French Quarter with Emeril’s Bistro 1396, the first restaurant at sea created by New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse; La Piazza; Summer Landing; Lido; and the Ultimate Playground.
After completing a special eight-day cruise to the Caribbean on 16 October 2020, Mardi Graswill commence year-round seven-day cruises on 24 October 2020, alternating weekly to the Eastern and Western Caribbean.
Eastern voyages will consist of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Amber Cove, Dominican Republic, and Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos, while Western sailings will comprise Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico, and Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan), Honduras.
Image: Officials breaking ground on the Cruise Terminal 3 complex in Florida, US. Photo: Courtesy of Canaveral Port Authority.