“We are really gearing up on some of our capital projects that will allow us to have larger vessels call and homeport in Manhattan and Brooklyn,” said Matthew Kwatinetz, executive vice president, asset management revenue at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, which oversees the Big Apple’s cruise business.
First, $15 million will be spent in Brooklyn highlighted by a pier extension and set to be ready by late 2020.
The bigger news comes in Manhattan where Pier 90 will be redone in a big-budget project to better berth large cruise ships, similar to Pier 88.
“The goal is to accommodate a larger, modern class of vessels,” added Kwatinetz.
A new apron will be added, allowing ships with overhanging lifeboats to dock, as well as new boarding bridges. A completion date is estimated in 2021.
“When we do that we can accommodate larger ships like the Carnival Horizon and Norwegian Bliss, and future ships like Carnival’s XL class,” added Michael DeMeo, vice president, NY Cruise.
Additional capacity in Manhattan comes in the form of Pier 92.
“We are running up against the limitations of capacity right now; we have been talking to different cruise lines to expanding berthing at Pier 92,” said Kwatinetz, adding the city was near its limit during peak season in September and October.
“It’s amazing to be in this position,” continued Kwatinetz. “We didn’t think we’d run out of space five or six years ago, but we are filling up and looking to create additional berths.”
While near-term capacity includes Pier 92, and the soon-to-be-upgraded Pier 90, as well as Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, a bigger long-term project could see the addition of another berth in Brooklyn.
“There are a couple of different deep water areas in Brooklyn that there could be a possibility,” noted Kwatinetz. That possibility, however, would probably run into the nine figure investment range and require a major operator commitment or cruise line partner.
New York had a healthy 2018, buoyed by the visits of two new brand new ships in the Carnival Horizon and Norwegian Bliss, DeMeo explained.
2020 will see another first as the Carnival Radiance will become the first ship to sail to Cuba from New York.