Norwegian is putting its mark on Miami’s Skyline with New Terminal Plans
The skyline at PortMiami is going to look very different come 2019. Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line has taken action to move forward with plans to construct a new, luxury terminal.
The plan is still waiting for final approval from the Board of Commissioners. Once approved the project is set to be finished by November 2018. The plans were first announced in May of 2017.
The plans show a new terminal being built east of the current Norwegian location at Terminals B and C. The new terminal will be known as Terminal B, and the current Terminals B and C will combine to become Terminal C. The two Norwegian terminals will have space for two 5,000-passenger cruise ships to be docked at once. This plan is set to complete at the same time as the Norwegian’s newest cruise ship, called the Norwegian Encore (Fall, 2019).
The new terminal has a $100 million price tag for Miami-Dade. It is currently unknown how much of the cost Norwegian will cover. The price tag is well worth it though, with the terminal plans designed to mirror the luxury experience onboard Norwegian’s ships.
“[Passengers’] vacation should start when they arrive, and they go through the facility. It shouldn’t be when they walk onboard the ship, so there shouldn’t be this disconnect of, ‘I’m in a terminal, now I’m in a beautiful ship,’ ” Andy Stuart, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line explained. “People are going to feel the experience start when they enter this facility.”
County officials were initially going with a winning bid for the design of the terminal, but Norwegian convinced them otherwise. They were persuaded to let the company choose both their construction and design firms. Norwegian was worried the county was going to select a bid that was better for the county’s bottom line and had less focus on the aesthetic appeal of the design.
Stuart emphasized the importance of the design and execution as Norwegian expanded their design into South Florida. Norwegian Cruise Line was launched more than 50 years ago, and their plans for this building extend far into their future – so quality is of utmost importance.
“This is a facility that is going to be here for the long term. It becomes part of the Miami skyline. It represents the brand and the company,” Stuart said. Norwegian chose a Miami-based design firm, Bermello Ajamil & Partners, which is drawing up plans for an all glass, 166,500-square-foot terminal. The terminal will be known as the “Pearl of Miami.” The oblong building will heavily contrast with Royal Caribbean’s sharp angular design, which sits right next to the Norwegian terminal.
New technology will bring the terminal to modern times, making arrival and departure of guests seamless and straightforward. The terminals will also be host to a lounge and service area suited for large groups and charters. PortMiami director, Juan Kuryla, said PortMiami would finalize it as the Cruise Capital of the world. The new addition of the Norwegian terminal and Royal’s development closing the deal for them. The port recently broke a world record by welcoming 5.3 million visitors throughout last year (2017). That number is supposed to continue to grow during 2018, with 5.4 million passengers projected.
“We could decide … not to build, but come 2024, 2025, other ports will be bigger if we don’t push these type of developments.” PortMiami director, Juan Kuryla said. He also hopes the new terminals will encourage the competition along the port to want to upgrade their terminals as well.
“This sets the stage for other beautiful terminals along the north side of the port,” Kuryla said.