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Canaveral Port Authority Commissioners approve bonding for new cruise terminal

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The Canaveral Port Authority (CPA) Board of Commissioners today voted to approve a resolution for the issuance of a series of bonds up to $117 million to provide the financing for Port Canaveral’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,” stated 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 approved today by the Port’s Board of Commissioners includes the issuance of up to $80 million in 30-year bonds (Series 2018 A & B) and up to $37 million in bonds (Series C) executed as a 20-year loan with SunTrust Bank. Additionally, the Commissioners approved increasing the Port’s line of credit with PNC Bank from $25 million to $50 million with repayment of any funds used provided by the Port’s operating income.

The Canaveral Port Authority and Carnival Cruise Line will invest in building and equipping a new two-story 185,000-sq. ft. terminal to accommodate the as-yet-unnamed 180,000-ton Carnival Cruise Line ship, engineered with Carnival Corporation’s state-of-the-art LNG “green cruising” design platform. The new cruise vessel will have maximum capacity of approximately 6,500 guests.

“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, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

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 total $150 million – estimated to be the largest single project in the history of the Port. Carnival will contribute up to $50 million towards the cruise terminal construction project. The new terminal is slated for completion by mid-2020.

The new Carnival operating agreement, which began September 1, 2018 provides a 25-year primary term with four additional five-year renewal options and includes annual guarantees throughout.

“This agreement has lasting economic benefit for both the Port and Carnival Cruise Line,” said Capt. John Murray, Port CEO. “The most exciting aspect, and the reason a new terminal is necessary, is that this groundbreaking new class of ship – the largest ever constructed for Carnival– will be homeported 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.”

The arrival of the new Carnival ship in 2020 will mark 30 years that Carnival Cruise Line has been sailing from Port Canaveral, the longest of any of the Port’s cruise partners.