PortMiami in Florida

Travellers will be greeted with a new view at PortMiami thanks to more than a billion dollars’ worth of renovations.

PortMiami is the second-largest economic asset in the Miami-Dade County and contributes $43 billion annually to the local economy supporting more than 334,500 jobs in Southern Florida. It is widely regarded as the Cruise Capital of the World and has recently launched a new programme of renovations and improvements.

New building work will include options for new cruise berths, terminals and parking facilities to expand its footprint to accommodate the next generation of cruise ships.

The Miami Herald reported that Norwegian Cruise Line is building a curved terminal facing Palm Island: “With a combination of public and private dollars, Miami-Dade County is betting on the cruise industry in a big way by devoting more than $1.5 billion to build five shiny new cruise terminals and two company headquarters in total, the most dramatic remake of the port in recent decades.

“The new terminals — and the technology within them — will enable cruise lines to quickly embark thousands of passengers on their Caribbean vacations. But the overhaul brings more than a matter of speeding processes and increasing capacity. Together, they create a modern ocean entryway to a 21st-century global city known for art and design.”

The buildings have been described as conveying a “forward-thinking and progressive city” by Bernardo Fort-Brescia, founding principal of Miami-based firm Arquitectonica, which is designing some of the projects. “They convey the importance of the port. They tell the story of what a big industry it is for the world”, he told the Miami Herald.

Terminal B, which is the new Norwegian Cruise Line terminal, is currently under construction and is due to be completed in June 2020: “The curves of its unique oval shape, already visible, contrast its neighbour’s sharp angles. Both terminals are transparent with floor to ceiling windows. Designed by Miami firm Bermello Ajamil & Partners, the estimated cost of the terminal is $263 million”, reported the Miami Herald.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s building design is inspired by nautilus (a type of marine mollusc), reported Cruise Mapper: “The building implements all modern technologies that support faster and efficient passenger processing, as well as expedited security screening and luggage check-in. The design also includes a dedicated waiting lounge, separate bar lounge, service area, new parking garage, valet parking area (accessing the building directly).”

Since the 1970s, the port of Miami has been a key launch point due to its proximity to the Caribbean. Not only is the port a hub for travellers enjoying a variety of trips, including a singles cruise, it is also the number one containerised cargo port in the state, according to Ship Technology. Annually, the port handles more than four million cruise ship tourists and more than one million cargo containers.