Carnival Cruise Line has been operating cruises from its terminal in the dome adjacent to the Queen Mary since 2003. For years, the cruise line has been lobbying unsuccessfully to expand its footprint within the dome so it can operate a larger terminal and grow its Long Beach presence by bringing in larger ships. On October 17, Carnival announced its wish had finally been granted, thanks to a deal with the Queen Mary area’s new leaseholder, Urban Commons.
Urban Commons and Carnival reached an agreement to allow the cruise line to take over the entire dome, more than doubling its footprint from 66,000 square feet to 142,000 square feet, according to a statement from the cruise line. The additional space allows for two-way operations – simultaneous embarkation and disembarkation – as well as the future use of larger ships.
Construction within the dome to accommodate these operations is expected to be completed late next year, according to Carnival. The terminal will remain operational during construction. Currently, the company deploys three ships from Long Beach, including the Carnival Miracle, Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Imagination. Cruise destinations include the Mexican Riviera, Baja and Hawaii, with Alaska voyages slated for the future.
Plans also include the expansion of cold ironing, which allows ships to plug in to clean shore power instead of running engines while at dock, according to the statement. Carnival and Urban Commons will work together on “enhancements to the area surrounding the dome and the adjacent Queen Mary,” according to Carnival.
“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 home port facilities,” Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said in a company statement. Duffy thanked the City of Long Beach and Urban Commons for facilitating the expansion.
Mayor Robert Garcia lauded the deal in the Carnival statement, calling it “great news for Long Beach” and pointing out that it would bring additional tourism activity to the city.
Taylor Woods, principal of Urban Commons, stated that “Carnival Cruise Line is a tremendous asset for the Long Beach community” and said his company has “big plans for the facility and the surrounding land,” which will be enhanced by Carnival’s