The sleek new cruise ship terminal on Pier 27 is a welcome addition to the waterfront. Ideally, it will be a boon to The City and the region as it brings in visitors from around the world who might not otherwise visit or spend their money here. But it also has the possibility to become a giant albatross around the neck of the Port of San Francisco if not properly managed.
The new James R. Herman Cruise Terminal will become The City’s primary berthing spot for cruise ships in 2014. It will replace Pier 35, which is little more than a converted warehouse. The Port has long sought to upgrade its terminal since its capacity and docking capabilities became increasingly dated as cruise ships increased in size — especially the ones that travel internationally. Yet earlier terminal projects fell apart for varying reasons.
Operation of the new 60,000-square-foot terminal will make it possible for more cruise ships to berth in San Francisco, and Pier 35 can continue to be used as a backup. And projections suggest that more ships are on their way. The Port schedule shows 65 cruise ships docked in 2012. This year that number is expected to be 66, and next year’s schedule shows 74 arrivals. Read More