Norwegian Cruise Line to build new Miami terminal

Norwegian Cruise Line is set to build a new landmark terminal at PortMiami.

Set to open in fall 2019, the new terminal features three giant arcing see-through domes that are touted by the company as a “pearl” on the Miami horizon.

“We believe the process yielded what will be the most iconic building — port facility building — around the world,” said Frank del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. “It won’t just be a place that we want to rush you through to get you to the ship, but it will be truly an experience … your cruise begins when you arrive at our new facility.”

Norwegian Cruise Line revealed renderings for a planned new terminal at PortMiami that if approved would open in fall 2019.

The renderings for the planned 166,000-square-foot facility that will be terminal B at the port have been created by Miami-based design firm Bermello Ajamil & Partners.

“The inspiration at the end of the day came from the sea and the idea that this was a jewel, and the jewel is the pearl,” said firm CEO Luis Ajamil. “The pearl is all about what’s inside, the experience of that pearl encased in the shell, but the shell itself is beautiful, so what you’re seeing is three shells that are placed on top of a podium that will provide this great experience for passengers.”

The terminal features its own parking garage and most significantly, a transparent structure to allow visitors to get great views of downtown Miami.

“At night when this terminal is lit up, it is going to be something that you will probably see in every postcard for Miami from here into the future,” Ajamil said.

Norwegian Cruise Line President Andy Stuart said that while it’s a beautiful building that will feature both indoor and outdoor lounges that could act as distractions during the boarding process, the main goal of the terminal is to get up to 5,000 people on board up to two of the line’s ships efficiently.

“The idea is not to sit down and have a meal,” Stuart said. “The objective is still to get people on board the ship … a space that’s very efficient — works very well — but people feel they’ve started their vacation.”

If approved, the terminal would open by November 2019 in time for the arrival of the line’s newest ship, Norwegian Encore, which will be the last of the Breakaway Plus class ships.

The announcement was made last week at the Seatrade Cruise Global conference in Fort Lauderdale with Miami-Dade County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa on hand. The commission has yet to approve the planned construction, but the plan calls for the county to kick in $100 million toward the overall cost, which was not revealed.

“The more you design, the more you construct, the more cruises that come to PortMiami, we welcome them with open arms,” Rosa said, “We pledge to you to continue working together.”

The Norwegian terminal would follow on the heels of Royal Caribbean’s new modern terminal expected to open this fall ahead of the arrival of the world’s largest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas. The two terminals will be adjacent at the port.

“I think they’re both going to be beautiful buildings,” said Norwegian’s Howard Sherman, executive vice president of destination development. “What’s great is they’re going to look different. I think that’s great that they’re so different.”