Correction: WAVY incorrectly reported that the terminal would be closed to all ships in 2024. The terminal will be closed to all Carnival ships. Also the Magic is the bigger of the two ships. WAVY regrets the errors.
NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Half Moone Cruise Terminal in downtown Norfolk will close for a year to Carnival cruise ships while crews prepare it to welcome the Carnival Sunshine in 2025. The city approved $12 million for it in the budget back in June.
Norfolk’s cruise terminal sees as many as 16 different cruise ships dock in its waters throughout the year. In 2024 it will look emptier, but inside, it will be bustling with construction crews.
The terminal won’t be closed to all ships in the meantime, but those looking to cruise with Carnival will have no choice but to hit the road.
“If you live in Hampton Roads and you want to take a cruise, your closest drive markets will be Baltimore or south towards Charleston, or even Port Canaveral in Florida,” said Elizabeth Psimas, owner of Travel Designers Inc.
The city also stands to lose a lot of revenue during the closure. Their net gain reaches into the millions each year. However, gains could be much higher once the Sunshine ship makes Norfolk its homeport, replacing the current Carnival Magic. About 100,000 Carnival guests are expected to go through Norfolk in 2025, and Psimas said she’s already booking cruise packages for that season.
The first Carnival cruise in 2025 is expected in February.