A unanimous decision by the Miami-Dade County Commission Wednesday will allow Royal Caribbean Cruises to build a cruise terminal at PortMiami that will host the cruise company’s behemoth ships.
The Miami-based company announced its agreement with the county last week to build the $247 million terminal, contingent on the commissions vote. With the approval, the cruise company is now set to build its proposed angular, glass facility, which will allow its Oasis-class Royal Caribbean International ships — the largest in the world — to dock in Miami.
“I am pleased the Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved @RoyalCaribbean’s partnership & expansion @PortMiami,” tweeted County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, a longtime supporter of the deal.
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In 2009, Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale won the right to host the Oasis-class ships by building a facility to accommodate them.
Under the agreement, Royal Caribbean will fully finance the construction of the terminal, save $15 million the county-owned port will pay for surface and road work to connect the new terminal to the other cruise terminals. Royal Caribbean will also pay the county $7.5 million in annual rent.
The new terminal in PortMiami will be big enough to fit an Oasis ship and then some: The dock at what would be called Terminal A would have space for a 1,300-foot long ship (the Oasis ships are nearly 1,200 feet long). Royal Caribbean’s current PortMiami dock at Terminal G only fits ships that are about 1,000 feet long.
When completed in late 2018, Terminal A is expected to draw an additional 1 million tourists to the port, for a total of 1.8 million Royal Caribbean passengers a year. The cruise line has not get announced which or how many Oasis-class ships will sail from Miami.