After a three-year hiatus, the Port of Los Angeles is relaunching its efforts to build an additional passenger cruise terminal in San Pedro’s Outer Harbor.
The plan has been in the works for over a decade and was paused due to the pandemic that essentially shut down the entire cruise industry. However, with the industry rebounding, the port is pushing forward with its proposal.
New Cruise Terminal Back on the Table
The Port of Los Angeles has brought a plan to construct an additional cruise terminal in the port back to life. The option for a new cruise terminal was first released about a decade ago but shelved during the pandemic.
The port recently released a new draft request for proposals (RFP), a preliminary version of a document that outlines the scope of work, requirements such as parking availability, and expectations for a project. Any new developments would also need to be able to offer shore power to cruise ships in light of environmental concerns that more docks would bring.
The draft document states the following: “The harbor department seeks to partner with a high-caliber development firm for the development and operations of the Inner and Outer Harbor Cruise Terminals with the primary objective to expand the port’s cruise business capacity to meet future demand,”
“The goal is to develop cruise facilities to handle the largest ships presently serving the west coast market, with room to expand operations in response to future deployment of larger ships. Proposers may use a phased approach to the development of the new cruise terminals.”
Building for the Future
The new terminal, located at Berths 45-51, would occupy 13 acres of backland, calls for the redevelopment of two existing piers, and include 14 acres of associated off-site parking.
The new terminal will be able to handle bigger ships with greater capacity. The existing Los Angeles World Cruise Center, also called the Inner Harbor Cruise Terminal, would be redeveloped under the RFP scope as well.
Although the project has been in the works for over a decade, it has faced public criticism. Some critics have said the new center would block water views, negatively impact local boating traffic coming and going from the marina, and cause traffic congestion. However, with growing cruise traffic, the port has decided the economic impact is more important.
According to Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka: “This cruise development initiative is critical to our business, our community and the LA Waterfront, and we want to make sure it’s done right. Each cruise ship that calls the Port of Los Angeles generates more than $1 million into the local economy, so it’s important that we maximize our opportunities to bring more visitors and revenue into the community.”
Record-breaking numbers of cruise ships are expected to call at the Port of Los Angeles this year, with 250 port calls scheduled in LA throughout 2023.
Princess Cruises operates half of its fleet from the LA port, while Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, and Royal Caribbean all have regular sailings from the port.