San Juan Cruise Port to receive multimillion-dollar upgrade

New operator Global Ports Holding will make critical infrastructure and technological improvements at the Caribbean port

San Juan Cruise Port to receive multimillion-dollar upgrade

Global Ports Holding

The operator will embark on a two-stage investment project to upgrade the cruise port

By Laura Hyde |

Global Ports Holding (GPH) has taken over operations at San Juan Cruise Port in Puerto Rico after signing a 30-year concession agreement with the Puerto Rico Ports Authority (PRPA).  

GPH subsidiary San Juan Cruise Port will now embark on a two-stage investment project to repair, rebuild and upgrade the infrastructure at the port. The aim is to “elevate San Juan’s position in the Caribbean cruise market”, according to the operator. 

“We are delighted to welcome San Juan Cruise Port into the world's largest cruise port network,” said Mehmet Kutman, chairman and CEO of GPH. “As well as being a fantastic destination, San Juan is a strategically important port that is perfectly positioned to play a pivotal role in Eastern and Southern Caribbean itineraries for decades to come. Everyone at GPH is looking forward to us delivering on our plans to bring the iconic San Juan Cruise Port to its rightful, pre-eminent position in the Caribbean cruise industry for the benefit of all Puerto Ricans.” 

GPH will spend an initial $100 million on critical infrastructure repairs at Pier 4 and the surrounding terminal buildings and walkways. It will also modernise systems, equipment and technology to improve the passenger experience. 

In the second phase of the project, GPH aims to expand the port’s capacity by building a new cruise pier and homeport terminal. This estimated $250 million investment will ensure the port is capable of handling some of the world’s largest cruise ships at Piers 11 and 12. 

San Juan Cruise Port staff

Ninety per cent of the team at San Juan Cruise Port are Puerto Rican

“We have already established our command centre in Old San Juan and hired personnel, 90 per cent of whom are Puerto Rican,” said Federico González-Denton, the port’s general manager. “Additionally, we've onboarded top talent from the PRPA’s Maritime Bureau, ensuring a smooth transition as we assume management of the port.” 

San Juan Cruise Port welcomed almost two million unique passengers in 2019, making it the third largest cruise port in GPH’s global network of 30 cruise ports. 

“Our investment into this port will see hundreds of millions of dollars invested into San Juan Cruise Port, transforming the port infrastructure, and significantly improving the cruise port experience for passengers, while creating significant opportunities for local businesses to benefit from the expected growth in cruise passenger volumes,” said Mike Maura, regional director for the Americas at GPH. “We look forward to delivering a world-class cruise port that will benefit Puerto Ricans for many years to come.”

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