PORT CANAVERAL WILL BUILD TERMINAL FOR EXCLUSIVE USE OF DISNEY CRUISES

PORT CANAVERAL WILL BUILD TERMINAL FOR EXCLUSIVE USE OF DISNEY CRUISES

The Canaveral Port Authority is spending $24 million to build its largest cruise terminal yet, to be used exclusively for up to 50 years by Disney Cruise Lines.

Construction is scheduled to begin next April. The project is expected to be completed by Jan. 1, 1998, said Chuck Agostinelli, a spokesman for the Cape Canaveral, Fla., port. The port is home to four cruise terminals at present, and construction already is under way on a fifth.Disney has placed orders with an Italian shipyard for the construction of two 85,000-ton, 950-foot cruise ships, each able to accommodate 2,400 passengers. The first ship is scheduled to arrive at Port Canaveral in January 1998, and the second in November of that year.

The Disney cruise affiliate has made a 10-year commitment to the port, with annual renewal options covering an additional 40 years, according to a marine- terminal agreement that has cleared the Federal Maritime Commission.

The agreement provides a formula for minimum vessel calls under which Disney will retain the exclusive right to use the terminal. In one option, the company must make 250 calls in the first two years and average 150 voyages a year thereafter, or pay construction, dockage and wharfage for the missed

voyages. In an alternative plan, the missed-voyage requirement applies after four years and 475 calls.

Of the $24 million budgeted for the project, the port plans to spend $9 million on waterside improvements and $15 million for the landside portion.

Port officials calculate that each of the two Disney cruise ships will pump $50 million annually into the economy of Brevard County.

Disney will offer one-week cruise vacations, including a three- or four-day cruise and three or four days at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, according to the port.