San Juan Cruise Port Takes Center Stage at Seatrade Cruise Global – Global Ports Holding

GPH - Global Ports Holding (Logo)Key highlights of the San Juan Cruise Port (“SJCP”) project were unveiled at this year’s Seatrade Cruise Global event by Global Ports Holding, the world’s largest cruise port operator.

SJCP is now managing cruise port operations and will commence its multi-million-dollar plan to repair, rebuild, and upgrade its infrastructure in accordance with its Public-Private Partnership Agreement with the Puerto Rico Ports Authority (“PRPA”). The operational handover marks the beginning of a transformative journey to enhance and elevate San Juan’s position in the Caribbean cruise market.

Port investment

While San Juan Cruise Port is a popular homeport and transit port, significant investment in its infrastructure is needed to ensure continued operations and to meet the needs of the fast-growing cruise industry.

As per the terms of the 30-year concession agreement, GPH has paid the Puerto Rico Ports Authority an upfront concession fee of $75M. During the initial investment phase, GPH will invest approximately $100M, primarily focused on critical infrastructure repairs at Pier 4 and Pan American Piers I and II, in addition to upgrades to the terminal buildings and the passenger walkway.

GPH will also modernize the port experience for cruise passengers, cruise lines, and local vendors and will use its global expertise and operating model to improve port operations management, technology, security, and sustainability efforts. The port will also be integrated into Old San Juan and Puerto Rico’s thriving tourism sector, creating significant opportunities for local businesses to benefit directly from the improved facilities and the anticipated growth in cruise passenger volumes.

The second investment phase will commence subject to pre-determined criteria, including cruise passenger volumes recovering to pre-pandemic levels. In this phase, GPH will invest an estimated $250M in expanding the capacity of the port by building a new cruise pier and state-of-the-art homeport terminal at Piers 11 and 12 to handle the world’s largest cruise ships.

Network expansion

The addition of San Juan Cruise Port is a significant development in the strategic expansion plan of Global Ports Holding in the Caribbean. San Juan Cruise Port, which welcomed 1.8 million unique passengers in 2019 (including 400,000 homeport passengers, representing 2.2 million passenger movements), is the third-largest cruise port in the GPH network.

Global Ports Holding Chairman & CEO, Mehmet Kutman, said:

“We are delighted to welcome San Juan Cruise Port into the world’s largest cruise port network. In addition to being a fantastic destination, San Juan is a strategically important port that is perfectly positioned to play a pivotal role in Eastern and Southern Caribbean itineraries as a homeport for decades to come.

We are excited to have started operations, as San Juan continues to welcome record numbers of cruisers and look forward to delivering on our plans to bring the iconic San Juan Cruise Port to its rightful leadership position in the Caribbean cruise industry for the benefit of all Puerto Ricans.

We remain dedicated to expanding our presence and impact in the region and to exploring new opportunities for growth and collaboration in the Caribbean.”

San Juan Cruise Port President, Jan Fomferra, said:

“Our investment in this port will see hundreds of millions of dollars poured into the development and expansion of San Juan Cruise Port which will transform the port infrastructure, significantly improve the cruise port experience for passengers, and create greater opportunities for local businesses to benefit from the anticipated growth in passenger volumes.

We look forward to delivering a world-class cruise port that will benefit Puerto Rico and the entire region, boosting the economies of the entire Caribbean cruise industry for many years to come.”

San Juan Cruise Port General Manager, Federico González-Denton said:

“This is a dream come true. After so many years in the industry making recommendations about how to improve the port at San Juan, we finally have the opportunity to do something about it. The investment being made by GPH to revamp the port will propel San Juan to a whole new level as it prepares to welcome an ever-growing number of passengers.”

(San Juan Cruise Port Takes Center Stage at Seatrade Cruise Global – Global Ports Holding)