San Pedro’s Outer-Harbor Cruise Terminal Plan Underway Again


A more than decade-long plan to create an additional passenger cruise terminal in San Pedro’s Outer Harbor recently relaunched after being paused for about three years, a result of the coronavirus pandemic essentially shutting down the entire cruise industry.

Now, the Port of Los Angeles, with its cruise business rebounding, is pushing forward again to revisit the proposal.

A draft request for proposals to create the new center went out on Jan. 31, with written comments from the public due on March 3. It includes a plan to redevelop the existing World Cruise Center — at Swinford Street and Harbor Boulevard — on the Los Angeles waterfront in San Pedro.

The draft RFP seeks preliminary public comments to help inform the final request for proposals the port will eventually release.

“This cruise development initiative is critical to our business, our community and the LA Waterfront,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said in a written statement. “Each cruise ship that calls at the Port of Los Angeles generates more than $1 million into the local economy.”

The port logged 229 cruises leaving the Port of LA in 2022, Seroka said during his State of the Port address on Jan. 19, with just as many — “if not more” — expected this year.

The planned Outer Harbor Cruise Terminal will be at Berths 45-51, a site that offers panoramic views of the coastline and Catalina Island. The site includes 13 acres of backland, two existing wharves and 14 acres of associated off-site parking.

The new terminal, on San Pedro’s southern coastline, has been in the works for more than a decade, albeit with some public criticism. Critics in the past have said the project would block water views, negatively impact local boating traffic coming and going from the marina, and cause traffic congestion.

Yet, when a formal request for proposals was initially getting underway in 2019, plans still called for the new center to handle longer ships with greater capacity.

Either way, the RFP went nowhere — with the pandemic soon putting everything on hold.

But with the new year, the port has relaunched its efforts to build a new cruise terminal.

And the latest draft RFP broadens the proposed project’s scope, including “the development, redevelopment, and operations of all cruise operations at the port.”

Besides creating a new cruise terminal at Berths 45-51, known as the Outer Harbor Cruise Terminal, the project would also redevelop the existing cruise terminal at Berths 87-93, known as the Inner Harbor Cruise Terminal.

Officials expected the new terminal and the redeveloped one to each have a minimum of two cruise berths, for a total of four.

The proposed Outer Harbor Cruise Terminal site, 3011 Dave Arian Way, is at the south end of the Outer Harbor/warehouse district on the waterfront. The backland is generally bounded by Miner Street to the north, the Main Channel to the east, open navigation waters to the south and the former San Pedro Boatworks site at Berth 44 to the west.

The current cruise terminal, now described as the Inner Harbor Cruise Terminal, 100 Swinford St., is at the north end of what is considered the waterfront’s “cruise district.” It includes 22 acres, two existing cruise berths, two terminal buildings and a baggage handling structure.

The proposals for the project, the RFP document said, may include “the relocation of the USS Battleship Iowa to accommodate an additional cruise berth.”

Plans are already tentatively in place to move the World War II battleship to the Southern Pacific Slip, closer to the future West Harbor waterfront development that’s set to open in 2024. Moving the historic ship is estimated to cost $25 million, according to the RFP, but that could change.

“The harbor department seeks to partner with a high-caliber development firm for the development and operations of the Inner and Outer Harbor Cruise Terminals with the primary objective to expand the port’s cruise business capacity to meet future demand,” the draft RFP said. “The goal is to develop cruise facilities to handle the largest ships presently serving the west coast market, with room to expand operations in response to future deployment of larger ships. Proposers may use a phased approach to the development of the new cruise terminals.”

For the existing terminal at Swinford, proposals can include improvements for the structures now in place. The Outer Harbor Cruise Terminal would require new structures on the currently vacant land.

The timing of construction, the RFP said, is “subject to market conditions.”

The 27-page RFP can be found at the port’s website.

Written comments must be submitted by email to Tanisha Herr at on or before 3 p.m. Friday, March 3.

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