There’s no other way to put it other than we have great news for the Long Beach economy: following a surge in the cruise industry, Carnival Cruises has decided to take over the entirety of the Spruce Goose dome in DTLB and expand its facilities to bring in bigger ships and more money.
So what does this specifically break down into?
Carnival Cruise Line will more than double the size of its terminal from approximately 66,000 sq. ft. to 142,000 sq. ft. The deal, written between the cruise line, landlord Urban Commons, and the City of Long Beach, will enable larger ships to use the port.
Carnival has been operating out of the Long Beach terminal since 2003, using only a fraction of the dome’s space for ticketing, loading, and unloading passengers and freight. With the use of the entire dome, that means more space for more passengers.
“For years we have been working toward reaching an agreement to expand the Long Beach Cruise Terminal to accommodate larger ships on the West Coast, and we’re thrilled to finally be able to move forward with our plans to assume full usage of the Dome, making Long Beach one of our largest homeport facilities,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
This follows a $250M overhaul of the 40-plus acres surrounding the Dome and the Queen Mary; an overhaul that includes an entertainment and retail complex. Oh, and possibly a Ferris wheel. Taylor Woods, principal of Urban Commons, has reported that hopes are high: boat slips, a marina, an 200-room boutique hotel landside, restaurants, retail, possibly doubling the footprint of Carnival Cruises’ port, and major updates to the ship itself that will complement the historic aspects of the Queen—updates that are expected to debut by mid-next year
Urban Commons is about to now spend $10M to $15M to renovate the ship itself while an additional $250M will be needed to develop the surrounding land—monies that Woods claim Urban Commons can raise itself.
Currently, the Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Imagination operate year-round, three- and four-day Baja cruises from Long Beach, while Carnival Miracle sails seven-day voyages to the Mexican Riviera and 14- and 15-day cruises to Hawaii and Alaska.