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Long Beach Approves Cruise Terminal Expansion



The Long Beach Planning Commission has approved plans to expand the Long Beach Cruise Terminal in a decision expected to benefit Carnival Cruise Line.

The Grunion reported that a vote was approved 4-2 on Thursday to add 657 new parking stalls, fill an abandoned 450-foot-long tunnel between Windsor Way and the parking structure and reconfigure traffic lanes.

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The expansion will allow the terminal to accommodate larger cruise ships such as Carnival Panorama, which is Carnival Cruise Line’s 27th ship and third Vista class vessel. The ship is scheduled to begin year-round sailings to the Mexican Riviera from Long Beach next month.

Many locals expressed concerns over the environmental impact of larger ships sailing into and out of the Long Beach Cruise Terminal and cited Carnival’s troubled past, according to The Grunion. However, the Planning Commission also approved a city analysis that found that the proposed terminal enhancements wouldn’t significantly harm the environment.

“I can assure you that Carnival cares about our local environment and is leading the industry,” said Ernie Chavez, the operations foreman at the terminal. “Each new ship that Carnival builds is greener and more environmentally sound than the one before it.”

Chair Richard Lewis expressed excitement for the expansion and arrival of larger ships.

“I think a brand new boat built to the current environmental standards has go to be an improvement over what we’re running out of the port now,” he said via The Grunion, “and I’m excited to see that large ship coming into Long Beach.”

Carnival Panorama will mark Carnival’s first new ship homeported on the West Coast in more than two decades.

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