RCL and “Hometown” Make Big Announcement

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It is a major berth announcement.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. said Tuesday that it intends to build a new cruise terminal at PortMiami with pier space roomy enough to accommodate its largest ships, those of the 5,400 passenger Oasis class.

Planned as the  most innovative cruise facility in the U.S., the new Terminal A – nicknamed the ‘Crown of Miami’ for its diadem-like profile – is expected to benefit Miami-Dade County to the tune of more than $500 million while adding at least 4,000 jobs, according to the county.

“We are truly excited to be working with Miami-Dade County and PortMiami to create not just another cruise terminal, but a truly iconic building,” said Richard D. Fain, RCL chairman and CEO. “This new terminal is a symbol of our commitment to Miami, the city where our company first started almost 50 years ago.  We can’t wait to bring an Oasis-class ship to PortMiami.”

The county expects new Terminal A, once it’s up and running, to generate at least 1.8 million passengers, or about 30 percent of the port’s projected passenger traffic. That will about double RCL’s current passenger traffic in PortMiami.

“Miami-Dade County is happy to welcome Royal Caribbean’s expansion at PortMiami, and all the economic benefits that come along with it,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. “Royal Caribbean has been an important part of our world-class community for almost 50 years, and this expansion will once again make PortMiami Royal Caribbean’s largest cruise port in the world. I thank them for their continued investment in and commitment to Miami-Dade.”

England-based global architecture firm Broadway Malyan won a worldwide competition between five top firms to design the new terminal, which will encompass 170,000 square feet on 10 acres in the northeast section of the port now used by cargo ships. RCL will lease the land while owning, operating and maintaining the terminal.

Renderings of the Crown of Miami show a sleek, glassy two-part complex – the terminal itself and an adjacent parking structure – with clean, angular lines dominating the quayside where RCL ships will moor, load and unload.

The design evokes the points of the symbolic headgear when viewed from the water; the ‘M’ of Miami when viewed from the east or western approaches; and a sense of waves rising or ships passing when viewed from the terminal side. At night, the terminal’s facade will be lit ensuring that the building makes a striking impression and providing a dynamic addition to the PortMiami landscape.

The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners is to consider the agreement for approval on July 6.