Carnival Cruise Line has reached an agreement in principle with Canaveral Port Authority in Florida, US, to develop a new terminal for its 180,000t cruise ship.

If approved, the deal will enable the cruise operator to advance with its plan to homeport the new ship at the Port Canaveral.

Canaveral Port Authority port director and CEO John Murray said: “The Port and Carnival Cruise Line have worked closely for decades building a successful partnership together.

“Carnival’s commitment to Port Canaveral demonstrates their confidence in our ability to support one of the world’s most successful cruise brands.”

Carnival’s new unnamed ship will feature 5,286 lower berths and is scheduled to start operation in 2020.

To be built under Carnival’s ‘green cruising’ design platform, the vessel will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and feature various improved technologies.

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Construction of the ship is expected to commence in November, with a steel-cutting ceremony to be held at Meyer-Werft’s shipyard in Turku, Finland.

“This fantastic new ship, coupled with our future plans for Port Canaveral, will provide guests with an unparalleled seagoing vacation experience.”

Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy said: “Easily accessible from all over the southeast with excellent facilities and friendly staff, Port Canaveral is one of our most popular and fastest-growing homeports.

“This fantastic new ship, coupled with our future plans for Port Canaveral, will provide guests with an unparalleled seagoing vacation experience from the minute they arrive.”

Carnival currently operates three ships at the Port Canaveral and offers year-long services to around 650,000 passengers annually.

The company plans to reposition its Carnival Breeze vessel to homeport at Port Canaveral in October.