Port Canaveral to get world's largest cruise ship through new contract with Carnival

Port, Carnival agree to build 180,000-ton cruise ship, new $150M terminal

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. – What's estimated to be the largest single project in the history of Port Canaveral was approved Wednesday.

The largest, most expensive terminal ever constructed at the port will also become the home port for what will be the largest cruise ship ever built.

Canaveral Port Authority commissioners voted unanimously to approve the new contract between Carnival Cruise Line and Florida's second-busiest port that could last as long as 45 years.

"(It's) the largest contract ever put before this board here, so we're pretty excited," Port Authority Chairman Wayne Justice said.

Construction is expected to start this fall on the new 180,000-ton ship. By the time it's due in 2020, the port expects to also complete its new $150 million terminal.

Terminal 3, nicknamed the launch pad, will have a five-story parking garage.

"We need a new terminal to accommodate this ship," port CEO Capt. John Murray said.

The new garage will be twice the size of the garage at Royal Caribbean's Terminal 1.

The port takes in more than $20 million a year from paid parking. The overall budget is another major sign of growth. In just 10 years, it's gone from $40 million to more than $100 million.

Most port customers cruise with Carnival.

The new ship, yet to be named, can hold 6,500 guests per cruise.

"2020, coincidental with the delivery of the new ship, will be Carnival's 30th year at Port Canaveral," Murray said about the port's longest tenured cruise line.

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