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Cruise: New York, Seattle

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NYCEDC Announces Single Operator and $38.5 Million in Capital Improvements for Manhattan and Brooklyn Cruise Terminals

New York City’s Manhattan Cruise Piers

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) has selected Ports America to operate the Manhattan and Brooklyn Cruise terminals through 2029. As part of the new agreement, Ports America has agreed to invest $38.5 million in capital improvements across both terminals.

Ports America will be responsible for vessel berthing and stevedoring, maintenance, parking, security, billing, and additional operations at both terminals. Ports America also will provide ancillary services such as event management and military vessel and yacht dockings.

The lease agreement with Ports America was approved last week for the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, the final approval needed for NYCEDC’s operator selection. Ports America agreed to invest $23.5 million in capital improvements to Manhattan Cruise Terminal that will add capacity for larger vessels and upgrade Pier 90, among other things.

Ports America also agreed to $15 million capital investments at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, which will include an increased capacity for larger vessels, among other improvements. Borough President Eric L. Adams initiated this project with a $1.2 million capital allocation in Fiscal Year 2016 and supplemented the effort with an additional $1 million grant in Fiscal Year 2017.

NYCEDC says designation of a single terminal operator will lower costs and streamline operations between the two terminals and thus create new opportunities to secure long-term agreements with cruise lines. Ports America has managed and operated the Manhattan Cruise Terminal in partnership with the NYCEDC for two decades.

"New York City’s rich maritime history must continue to inform and strengthen our current economy. Our partnership with Ports America marks continued progress in leveraging the city’s waterfront assets to create jobs, attract tourists, and drive growth in an important industry. I want to thank the elected officials in both Manhattan and Brooklyn for their leadership in securing a vibrant future for our two cruise terminals," said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett.

In 2016, more than a million passengers cruised through New York City, generating millions of dollars in annual economic impact and more than 1,000 full-time jobs through the International Longshoremen’s Association, the Port Police and Guard Union, and employees in accommodation, retail, and food and beverage sectors.

Brooklyn Terminal with Princess Cruise vessel at berth

Seattle Opens Renovated Pier 66 Cruise Terminal

Norwegian Star departing Seattle’s newly renovated Bell Street Cruise Terminal
Photo/Don Wilson, Port of Seattle

The Port of Seattle and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH) showcased the new Bell Street Cruise Terminal at the port’s Pier 66 building in a grand celebration on May 23.

NCLH is the parent company of Norwegian Cruise Lines, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. The three brands operated 25 ships with approximately 50,400 berths.

The newly renovated terminal features three times the square footage within the same walls of the prior facility and is custom designed to handle the 4,000 passenger Norwegian Bliss, which will homeport in Seattle during the 2018 cruise season.

An estimated $30 million dollars in improvements were made to the Bell Street Cruise Terminal as part of a joint agreement between Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and the Port of Seattle. The enhancements have significantly expanded and improved operations and the guest experience for cruise passengers at Pier 66.

"We couldn’t be more pleased to have had the opportunity to work with our partners at the Port of Seattle to enhance the guest experience at the Bell Street Cruise Terminal," said Howard Sherman, NCLH’s executive vice-president of Onboard Revenue and Destination Development. "Together, we have increased usage capacity by more than 300 percent, created a plush new lounge for suites guests, enlarged the space for all guests awaiting embarkation and much more, allowing for the vacation experience to begin as soon as our guests step foot inside the terminal by providing a seamless, comfortable and stylish ship-to-shore experience."

In August 2015, the Port of Seattle signed a 15-year lease with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. The deal secures berth space for NCLH ships in Seattle for the full term of the lease and provides passenger volume guarantees estimated to bring $73 million dollars of revenue to the port.

Under the new lease, Norwegian will manage the cruise operations at Pier 66 and will have priority rights to the cruise vessel berth during the cruise season. The port will operate the facilities outside the cruise season.

"We have a long history with Norwegian from when we first started in the Alaska cruise market over 15 years ago, and we are thrilled with their unprecedented investment today," said Seattle Port Commissioner Stephanie Bowman. "Opening Bell Street Cruise Terminal today is the celebration of a community partnership for success."

Renovated interior of the Bell Street Cruise Terminal
Photo/Don Wilson, Port of Seattle


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