Global Ports Holding (GPH), through a dynamic public-private partnership with the Puerto Rico Ports Authority (PRPA), will elevate the iconic San Juan Cruise Port to world-class standards through an extensive $425 million redevelopment project.
In the long-term, we envision the development of two distinct cruise port areas: the Old San Juan District including piers 1 and 4 (mainly dedicated to transit calls and luxury ships) and the Homeport District including Piers 11-14 and the Pan American piers.
- A 30-year private partnership agreement with the PRPA in which Puerto Rico retains ownership of the ports.
- Total private investment by Global Ports Holding exceeding $425M with the goal of increasing cruise traffic and maximizing benefits for the entire destination.
- A $75M upfront concession fee to be awarded to the Ports Authority, plus an ongoing revenue share agreement with the public corporation.
- An initial $100M of private capital investment during the initial 24-month phase, which will include critical infrastructure repairs to Piers 1 and 4, walkways 1 through 4 and Pan American Piers 1-2.
- A $250M additional capital investment injection for longer term expansion projects will be confirmed once certain milestones are met, including the construction of a new pier and home port terminal at Piers 11-12 to accommodate larger vessels. More investment in port infrastructure, based on specific criteria, may also be made at Piers 13 and 14 in the long-term.
- Additional investment projects, timing also based on certain trigger events, call for the eventual development of additional port infrastructure at Piers 13 and 14.
Benefits to All Stakeholders
For Puerto Rico01
- More tourists: Passenger volume expected to increase from 1.8M in 2019 to more than 5M by the end of the concession
- Estimated economic benefit of $14 billion over the term of the concession
- Creation of 4525 direct and indirect jobs during the construction phase and 215 permanent jobs
- Urgent repairs to terminals, wharfs, and walkways
- Catalyst for urban development that will enhance business activity and connectivity between Old San Juan, Puerta de Tierra and the PR Convention District
- World-class port operation and management; knowledge transfer opportunities
- Cruise port facilities open to locals and non-cruise tourists on non-cruise days
- Increased demand for local products and tours, taxi, and other operators to serve increasing passenger volumes
- More eyes on Puerto Rico – will support marketing of the destination and increase reach
- New investment in infrastructure gives an opportunity for considerable cruise tourism growth
For The Community02
- Higher demand for cruise operators, transportation service providers, airlines, retail, local goods and service providers, hospitality, accommodations, luggage handlers, and other port stakeholders
- Projected increase in total passenger and crew spending primarily brought about by higher passenger traffic
- Opportunities for increased traffic through on-port special events
- Use of the cruise terminal as a promotion platform for local businesses
- Support for qualifying local artisans, farmers, businesses
- Knowledge-transfer opportunities
- Improved embarkation and disembarkation processes
- Enhanced visitor experience, resource planning and safety measures
- Better signage and passenger information displays
- Customer satisfaction monitored regularly to improve service
- Easier access to Puerto Rico's unique attractions
- World-class health & safety protocols*
For Cruise Lines04
- Customize service offering for each type of vessel and/or operations
- Improvement of quality of key service offerings like security, water supply, logistics and ship’s maintenance
- Higher customer satisfaction scores
- Better guest experience
- Implementation of the latest technology to reduce operational timings and enhance safety and environmental practices
- Ongoing conversations with cruise lines representatives to garner feedback and identify the needs of the different cruise ships
- Open port policy – port will accommodate and welcome a variety of cruise lines, big and small, new and old
Who We Are
The San Juan Cruise Port Project will be led by Global Ports Holding Plc, through its Puerto Rican subsidiary, San Juan Cruise Port.
Global Ports Holding Plc (GPH) is the world's largest cruise port operator with an established presence in the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Asia-Pacific regions.
Established in 2004, Global Ports Holding holds a unique position in the cruise port landscape, positioning itself as the world’s leading cruise port brand. Operating 26 cruise ports in 14 countries, GPH provides services for 15 million passengers annually and serves the needs of the world’s cruise lines, ferries and mega yachts.
GPH operates ports that include a different range of major cruise hubs such as Barcelona and Singapore, to high-traffic marquee ports such as Nassau and Antigua. Its network of award-winning ports and terminals allow GPH to transfer best practices to its subsidiaries, offering its customers and their passengers leading levels of service tailored to their needs, delivered with leading standards of safety, security and performance worldwide. At the same time, with an ‘all stakeholder’ philosophy, GPH brings a mindful approach to the development and promotion of its ports’ destinations, as well as contribute to the development of the cruise industry.
A portfolio of award-winning ports and terminals allows GPH to transfer best practices to its subsidiaries. With a strong focus on operational excellence, enhanced security practices and customer-oriented services, GPH aims to contribute to the development of the cruise industry.
Our MissionConsistent with the principles we follow in all our operations around the world, our mission at the San Juan Cruise Port will be to:
Largest Cruise Port in the Caribbean
Become the largest cruise port in the Caribbean by passenger traffic to maintain Puerto Rico’s status as a “must-see” destination.
Best Partner/Service Provider
Work hand-in-hand with the Puerto Rican community, cruise lines, and all stakeholders to improve all aspects of service delivery and engagement to the benefit of all concerned.
Best Customer Experience
Provide the best customer experience to the cruise passengers, cruise lines and the local community.
San Juan Cruise Port Ltd. has been established by Global Ports Holding to ensure that Puerto Rico “cruises” into an even more exciting and successful future as the cruise industry grows by leaps and bounds in the years to come. Through the $425 million San Juan Cruise Port project, we will enhance and expand the facility into one of the largest and best cruise ports in the world as a part of a 30-year private-partnership agreement with the Puerto Rico Ports Authority (PRPA). The San Juan Cruise Port team will employ our best-in-class practices and global expertise to achieve extensive benefits for all stakeholders.
The ownership of the port will remain in the hands of the people of Puerto Rico throughout the term of the agreement and thereafter. The facility, including all improvements made, will be officially returned to the PRPA at no cost to the government or the people of Puerto Rico. We recognize that the cruise ports at San Juan are an essential part of Puerto Rico’s economy and social fabric and that for many people, Puerto Rico represents “the heart and soul” of cruising in the Caribbean. As such, we are committed to partnering with local stakeholders to ensure the highest standards in all aspects of the project. We look forward to collaborating with all stakeholders and the entire Puerto Rican community on this exciting project that will generate so many benefits for Puerto Rico.
The San Juan Cruise Port (SJCP) project is a public-private partnership initiative designed to elevate the Port of San Juan to world-class standards and maximize its potential as a leading cruise destination.
Under a 30-year public-private partnership agreement with the Puerto Rico Ports Authority (PRPA), Global Ports Holding Plc (GPH), through its local subsidiary San Juan Cruise Port, will (1) repair, enhance, develop and operate the SJCP infrastructure 2) expand the capacity of the port to accommodate larger ships (3) achieve best-in-class customer satisfaction scores, (4) increase cruise passenger traffic, and (5) create a mutually beneficial partnership with the government of Puerto Rico to secure San Juan’s position as a premier international cruise port.
This agreement is the result of a competitive bidding process managed by the Public-Private Partnerships Authority as provided by Puerto Rico law, where GPH was selected as the preferred bidder. Financial closing of the transaction is expected to be finalized by the end of 2022.
Under the PPPA, GPH will manage, operate and make investments in the port during the term of the concession, but the ports will continue to belong to the People of Puerto Rico. The Government of Puerto Rico will continue to retain full ownership of the port.
Global Ports Holding Plc (GPH) is the world’s largest cruise port operator. GPH operates 26 cruise ports in 14 countries and provides services to 15 million passengers a year globally in world-renowned ports including Nassau and Antigua in the Caribbean; Málaga and Barcelona in Spain; several ports in Portugal, Italy, Malta and Singapore and Ha Long in Asia. For more information visit: www.globalportsholding.com
San Juan Cruise Port is the name of the local subsidiary of Global Ports Holding in Puerto Rico.
Under the agreement with the PRPA, GPH will invest more than $425 million of private capital once a specific set of criteria is met. In the first phase of the project, which is to be completed within 24 months of financial closing, GPH will invest $100M of private capital to repair Piers 1, 4 and Pan American Piers I and II. In the second phase of the investment – which will begin based on certain trigger events - GPH will invest an additional $250M for longer term expansion investment projects including the construction of a new pier and homeport terminal at Piers 11-12. Longer-term projects, which will also be launched based on certain trigger events, call for the eventual development of additional port infrastructure at piers 13 and 14. The agreement with the Ports Authority also includes a $75M upfront concession fee to be paid to the public corporation, plus an ongoing revenue sharing agreement.
Historically, San Juan has been a leading cruise port destination, but in the last few years, as the Government of Puerto Rico focused its efforts on social and economic rebuilding activities following a series of catastrophic natural disasters, the port has not realized its potential. Puerto Rico has also lost some of its cruise tourism business due to a lack of investment in the infrastructure of the port, which has deteriorated extensively.
The San Juan Cruise Port project incorporates an important capital investment program to repair the existing damage. GPH will also implement best practices to optimize services, strengthen destination marketing and improve the experience of cruise lines and passengers.
The people of Puerto Rico, through the Puerto Rico Ports Authority (PRPA), own and will continue to own the San Juan Bay Cruise Port throughout the term of the concession agreement and beyond. During the term of the concession, the port will be managed by GPH.
At the end of the 30-year concession, the cruise port facility, including all improvements financed by GPH, will be handed back to the PRPA at no cost to the government or the people of Puerto Rico.
Thus, ownership of the San Juan Cruise Port will remain in the hands of the people of Puerto Rico throughout the entire concession period and beyond. This is also the case in Nassau, Bahamas – one of the top five cruise ports in the world - and Antigua, where GPH teams comprised of local talent manage the port.
Local economists estimate that the SJCP project will contribute approximately $14 billion of additional economic impact for Puerto Rico over the term of the concession.
Independent cruise traffic experts project that current cruise passenger volume at San Juan has the potential to grow threefold from 1.8 million in 2019 to over 5 million by the end of the concession, which is consistent with the projected growth of the industry worldwide. GPH has the investment capital and global expertise to partner with Puerto Rican authorities, cruise lines, and industry stakeholders to give the port of San Juan the opportunity to capitalize on this anticipated growth.
Additionally, the SJCP project is expected to generate thousands of direct and indirect construction jobs during the development and construction phase and 215 permanent jobs at peak times during the operational phase.
Through the formation of a “Steering Committee” and relevant stakeholder working groups, the San Juan Cruise Port team will work with stakeholders to integrate the cruise port into the wider metropolitan San Juan area. This level of partnership will certainly benefit community members in many ways but will also ensure that visitors are exposed to an authentic taste of the uniqueness that Puerto Rico has to offer.
The Steering Committee will include representatives of SJCP, PRPA, and other relevant key stakeholders including the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, representatives from San Juan, Cataño and other relevant municipalities, the Luis Munoz Marin Airport and the Ribas Dominicci (Isla Grande) Airport. Members shall determine if any other participants should be added to the committee. The principal objective of the Steering Committee will be to align objectives amongst the Steering Committee members, develop a common strategy, and set general guidelines for working together.
Our local port team will also be committed to promoting the port and the destination, locally and abroad. We will work with government authorities, cruise lines and tourism operators and put our extensive global experience to work as the cruise industry gears for growth. Engagement, alignment and knowledge sharing will be key to sustainable success.
In 2021, Puerto Rico experienced a strong rebound in tourism activity. Improvements in port infrastructure and key service enhancements will undoubtedly support an even greater boost in tourism numbers. San Juan has many unique, positive attributes, including its proximity to major homeports, having the biggest port and airport in the region, being part of the U.S. and having unique tourist attractions like Old San Juan. GPH will facilitate the growth of the homeport business by ensuring that San Juan continues to be the premier cruise gateway to the Eastern and Southern Caribbean.
GPH commenced preparations for the post-COVID cruising reality in January 2020 at the first sign of the pandemic. The Emergency Response Plans and the Health and Safety Protocols for all GPH ports were revised to reflect the new reality. Valletta and Singapore – two of the ports we operate - became the first in the world to restart operations. All our ports obtained the Safe Travels stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council based on the enhanced protocols. Puerto Rico will be no exception.
Yes. GPH will partner with local vendors and tourism industry stakeholders throughout the community to ensure that passengers disembarking in San Juan will be transported around the island safely and efficiently to enjoy the many unique attractions Puerto Rico has to offer.
The project will be developed in two major phases. Operations at the port will continue throughout the construction period with minimal disruption.
We anticipate that the concession agreement will be signed in mid-2022 and that the financial closing of the transaction will be completed by the end of the year. The Initial Investment Projects phase will take place within the 24 months following financial close and will include repairs to piers 1- 4, as well as Pan American piers I and II. Longer-term expansion investment projects, which will be scheduled based on certain trigger events primarily related to cruise passenger traffic growth, will include infrastructure repairs and the construction of a new pier and home port terminal at piers 11 and 12. Piers 13 and 14 will be reserved for future development, timing also subject to certain trigger events.
Demand for cruising is increasing globally, with the major cruise lines reporting strong levels of demand and several new ships ready to be deployed. We continue to receive a steady stream of new reservations coming in across most of our global network and are encouraged by these trends We expect cruise volumes to steadily recover to pre-pandemic levels over the next few years.
The Caribbean is and will remain the most stable and desirable base for cruise operators worldwide. This partnership between GPH and the PRPA will secure and boost Puerto Rico’s leading position in this market. The company’s investment in Puerto Rico now will mean positive returns for generations of Puerto Ricans.
Our local port team will be committed to Puerto Rico as a tourist destination, especially because it will be a team of Puerto Ricans. At GPH, we strongly believe that the port operator, government authorities and tourism industry stakeholders should work closely as the interests of all parties are aligned. We will, therefore, work with the local and municipal government authorities and all Puerto Rico tourism industry stakeholders to support the promotion of the destination and its attractions, set main common objectives, unlock potential bottlenecks and problems, and keep open channels of communication to review the results and find solutions to common challenges.
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At GPH, we believe that one of the values that continues to make us successful is that we have a global, yet local perspective on port Operations. Nowhere is this more evident than in our staff complement at each port. Our teams are comprised of local residents – citizens of the destinations we serve who have a vested interest, by birth, in the success of the port and the destination. All PRPA employees currently working at the PRPA Maritime Bureau who may be interested in working with GPH will be given priority for employment under competitive terms.