TAMPA — The Tampa Port Authority's governing board on Tuesday approved a new contract with Carnival Corp. that will keep the world's largest cruise ship operator in Tampa. Officials said the new agreement is expected to generate an extra $1 million in cruise revenue a year for the Port of Tampa.
Carnival's pervious 10-year contract with the port had expired a year ago but talks continued. The new contract runs until 2015, and has options for 2016 and 2017 for both Carnival and its subsidiary Holland America to continue sailing from Tampa.
The new deal allows the port to charge a $9.48 fee per cruise ship passenger, combing all port-related fees into one, higher rate. The Port of Tampa saw 974,259 cruise ship passengers pass through in 2012, an 11 percent increase from the previous year. The new deal also gives the port a guaranteed minimum revenue stream. Through mid 2013, Carnival will pay the port at least $1.5 million. From 2014 through 2017, the port is guaranteed at least $3.6 million a year.
Under the new contract, the Tampa Port Authority will pay Carnival to help promote the cruise ship business and its economic impact locally. According to the port, it would pay $5,200 from its marketing budget each time the Carnival Paradise docks in Tampa and $5,300 every time the Carnival Legend arrives.