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Royal Caribbean Is Going Bigger And Coming Home

courtsey of Royal Caribbean Cruises
Royal Caribbean wants to build a new $200 million terminal for cruise passengers at the county-owned PortMiami. The county commission is due to vote on the agreement July 6.

Cruise ship giant Royal Caribbean wants to build a new passenger terminal at PortMiami. And it may take away cruise ships that currently dock at Port Everglades.


The new terminal proposed in Miami is designed to handle Royal Caribbean’s largest ships -- the 5,400-passenger Oasis class vessels. Two of those ships now sail out of Fort Lauderdale. A third one will join them at Port Everglades this fall. Royal Caribbean says at least one of its Oasis ships will call its new terminal in Miami home.


"Miami has made it clear they would like to see us come back here," said Royal Caribbean CEO Richard Fain. "This is our home. This is where we have started almost all our cruises. And this opportunity is not one we would even think of passing up.”


Credit courtesy: Royal Caribbean Cruises
courtesy: Royal Caribbean Cruises
Architecture firm Broadway Malyan from Singapore designed the new terminal, which Royal Caribbean has nicknamed the "Crown of Miami."

  The terminal will be built on land leased from the county, which will pay $16.6 million for infrastructure improvements.  Royal Caribbean says the 170,000-square-foot facility will cost it more than $200 million. Plans call for the terminal to be built on what is now vacant land on the northeast portion of PortMiami. Royal Caribbean will have an initial 20-year lease with the county, paying at least $9.5 million a year in lease payments. Lease payments go up based on cruise passenger traffic.


Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez says, "I think the return on investment is very good. It’s a good public private partnership. Royal Caribbean gets what it needs. We get what we need without adding additional debt to our books.”

PortMiami is owned by the county and has $1 billion dollars in debt.  Miami-Dade County commissioners will be asked to approve the plan July 6.


Here's a promotional video Royal Caribbean released showing its new terminal proposed for PortMiami:


Tom Hudson is WLRN's Senior Economics Editor and Special Correspondent.
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