Ports around North America are busy with plans to build new cruise terminals, upgrade existing ones or determine if a cruise industry is a good idea at all.
Here are some recent port developments in the U.S. and Canada:
• Charleston, S.C., approved a plan to build a new cruise terminal as part of a $25 million overhaul of the existing Union Pier Terminal. According to local reports, the plan has raised concerns that cruise ship traffic would overrun and pollute the town. Charleston's city council approved a plan to open a terminal by the end of 2012 that would be able to accommodate two ships per week.
• Brownsville, Texas, commissioned a study to determine if building a cruise port makes sense. The study is looking at whether the Gulf port would attract any cruise ships. Brownsville is apparently banking on the draw of South Padre Island. The Brownsville Herald newspaper quoted Ralph Cowen, the port commissioner, as saying that the preliminary study "has shown that, yes, there is a market and, yes, we do have a facility that we could use [to accommodate cruise ships]."
• One port development that is on shaky ground is Nanaimo, a port in Vancouver. Local reports say that construction of a $22 million cruise ship terminal, with 11 cruise ship calls already on the books, could be blocked by a court order. Vancouver's Snuneymuxw First Nation people said they would block construction of the terminal because the local port authority has not taken seriously its concerns over the protection of the Nanaimo River Estuary, according to the Vancouver Sun. The report said that Chief Doug White said he would first try mediation, and if that didn't work, he would seek an injunction to stop work on the terminal. Currently, ships that call in Nanaimo must tender passengers ashore. The plans for a new terminal include a $17 million floating dock that ships can use to call alongside, as well as a 13,000-square-foot cruise ship terminal. The terminal is slated to be ready by March 31, in time for cruise calls from the Norwegian Pearl, the Celebrity Century, the Celebrity Infinity and the Radiance of the Seas, the article said.
• Cruiseport Boston finished the second phase of its renovations in August. Boston's Black Falcon Cruise Terminal underwent a $3 million upgrade to its passenger facilities, replacing and renovating existing finishes; painting the interior and exterior; and installing new ceilings, flooring, carpeting, stairs and escalators. The terminal also expanded the check-in area and separated the processing areas for arriving and departing passengers.
• In San Diego, the new, $21.1 million cruise terminal is scheduled for completion in December. The 52,000-square-foot Broadway Cruise Ship terminal will be certified as meeting Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design standards.