Canaveral Port Authority (CPA) Board of Commissioners have voted to approve a resolution to issue bonds of up to $117 mill.
The bonds will provide the financing for the port’s Cruise Terminal 3 project.
The new terminal will be the homeport for Carnival Cruise Line’s newest and largest cruise ship, as part of a long-term agreement between the Port Authority and Carnival.
“I am proud of our CFO Mike Poole, and the Port’s finance team, who worked diligently and thoroughly with the ratings agencies to propose a financing package to keep our costs low,” said Port CEO Capt John Murray.“Our record of performance, and Carnival’s renewed commitment to our port with the new long-term operating agreement, are the foundation of sound planning and pillars of financial success.”
The financing package includes the issuance of up to $80 mill in 30-year bonds (Series 2018 A & B) and up to $37 mill in bonds (Series C) executed as a 20-year loan with SunTrust Bank.
In addition, the Commissioners approved increasing the port’s credit line with PNC Bank from $25 mill to $50 mill with repayment of any funds used provided by the port’s operating income.
Canaveral Port Authority and Carnival Cruise Line will build and equip a new two-story 185,000 sq ft terminal to accommodate the 6,500 pax ‘Mardi Gras’, to be built using Carnival’s LNG ‘green cruising’ design platform.
“The Port Canaveral leadership team has been a great partner as we work to bring the new XL ship online in 2020. We will be announcing features on the ship over the coming weeks and months and we are certain that this news will drive even more excitement about the ship and more awareness of the great facilities being built,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival Cruise Line President.
The new cruise passenger terminal, plus an adjacent elevated parking facility to accommodate nearly 1,800 vehicles, and related wharf, road and access improvements will cost $150 mill, which is estimated to be the largest single project in the history of the Port. Carnival will contribute up to $50 mill toward the construction project. The new terminal is due for completion by mid-2020.
“This agreement has lasting economic benefit for both the Port and Carnival Cruise Line,” said Capt Murray.“The most exciting aspect, and the reason a new terminal is necessary, is that this ground breaking new class of ship – the largest ever constructed for Carnival– will be home ported at Port Canaveral when it’s delivered in 2020. And, we’re excited and very proud that it will be the first LNG-powered cruise ship based in North America.”
Carnival recently announced that the name of the new ship will be ‘Mardi Gras’, which was the first ship owned by the company in the early 1970s.