Doha, the capital city of Qatar, is located on the coast of the Persian Gulf. Credit: Shutterstock

New and revolutionary cruise ports and terminals that you need to experience

Author: Lucy Abbott

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A host of exciting cruise ports and terminals have recently welcomed guests for the first time or are set to open this year. Lucy Abbott gives you an insight into everything you need to know about these new additions

To be able to see so much of the world efficiently epitomises cruising, and new ports and terminals play a vital role in this act, as the all-important bridge between ship and destination.

Yet, these new ports and terminals aren’t just bridging a gap – they are revolutionising travel, making it easier than ever before for everyone to cruise, through accessibility improvements and eco-friendly measures.

Let’s not forget that it’s vital for guests to enjoy every step of their cruising experience, from the moment they arrive at the cruise terminal to disembarking at various ports.

So, what new cruise ports and terminals are making waves in the cruise industry?

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1. Horizon Cruise Terminal Southampton

Featuring tactile paving, talking escalators, ramps, lifts, dropped kerbs, rumbled strips and accessible signage, it’s safe to say that Southampton’s Horizon Cruise Terminal is impressive when it comes to accessibility.

What’s more, the terminal features roof-mounted solar power as well as shore power connectivity, so ships that have the necessary technology can switch their engines off and utilise the electrical power.

As a deep-water terminal, the Horizon Cruise Terminal can welcome large ships, such as MSC Virtuosa. Southampton is also home to plenty of major cruise lines such as Cunard, Royal Caribbean, P&O Cruises and more.

Therefore, if you or any of your cruise party have additional mobility needs you can sail on almost every major ocean cruise line from the convenience of Southampton.

Roughly 80% of Qatar's population live in Doha. Credit: Shutterstock

2. Grand Cruise Terminal Doha

Designed to accommodate two 6,000 guest ships at one time, the Grand Cruise Terminal at the Port of Doha is built to put Qatar on the cruise map.

Inside the terminal, there is plenty to impress guests before they even step foot on board – from a large aquarium set in glass tunnels to an art gallery.

Outside the terminal, you are positioned centrally to explore the Doha, so ensure you visit the National Museum of Qatar, Msheireb Downtown or Soup Waqif before embarking (or after disembarking).

Beyond playing host to three cruise ships during the FIFA World Cup Qatar in 2022, the terminal expects to see a wide variety of cruise lines visiting Doha – including MSC Cruises, Ponant, Costa Cruises and more.

Galveston. Credit: Shutterstock

Port of Galveston, Texas

Having opened in November 2022, the Port of Galveston’s cruise terminal at Pier 10 is a welcome addition.

In fact, the terminal is exclusive to Royal Caribbean and purpose-built to host some of the biggest cruise ships in the world – adding to the two terminals already operating out of Galveston.

Costing $125 million to build, the terminal spans 161,300 square feet and includes facial recognition technology and mobile check-in abilities.

Be reassured that you get that all-important parking spot (if needed) as there are four different parking lots at the terminal. Added comfort for suite guests includes a special area within the terminal as well as a dedicated entrance.

Cabo Rojo-Pedernales, Dominican Republic. Credit: Shutterstock

Cabo Rojo-Pedernales, Dominican Republic

With construction having started in mid-2022, Cabo Rojo cruise port – located on the Dominican Republic’s southwest coast – will feature a four-berth port with a capacity for up to one million guests a year when fully operational.

Inauguration of the cruise port is set to occur in December 2023 and you can look forward to the facilities that this port will feature – from a water park to a spa.

With the capacity for four cruise ships at any one time and close to an array of activities, the serenity and ease of access of this new Caribbean port shouldn't be underestimated.

What’s more, the new port will also allow you to access a beach, boutique hotel, restaurants, an interactive zone as well as a passenger reception centre.

You may have visited Samaná Bayport with the likes of Costa Cruises. Credit: Shutterstock

Samaná Bayport

Although already an existing cruise port, Samaná Bayport, located on the Northern coastline of the Dominican Republic, is set to undergo a facelift with a major expansion in the works this year.

By extending the cruise port, Samaná Bayport will have a capacity of handling 10,000 passengers a day with space for one vessel at a new floating pier as well as multiple anchorage positions.

When completed in late 2023, you can expect restaurants, a marina information centre and shopping opportunities, as well as piers for excursions.

You may have already encountered this port while sailing with Costa Cruises or Aida Cruises, but the expansion opens up the port to other major cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean.

Local culture in Stornoway is well worth absorbing. Credit: Shutterstock

Stornoway Deep Water Terminal

Another win for the UK, Stornoway Deep Water Terminal will be the only port in the northwest of Scotland where large ships can port when completed in late 2023.

If you are keen on UK cruise itineraries, this new port is another draw. Stornoway will be able to host ships up to 360m long as well as 6.5 hectares of land for industrial use.

In addition, there will be a pedestrian link to the Castle Grounds so you can simply walk into town – or a shuttle bus is provided.

Other attractions include traditional Blackhouse villages and peaceful beaches for guests to enjoy.

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About Lucy Abbott

Lucy is a cruise journalist who has sailed on a variety of ships, from expedition to river – with her favourite being expedition cruising.

Lucy is interested in new sustainable ways to cruise as well as how cruising is becoming accessible for all.

She works together with Kaye Holland to keep the World of Cruising website up to date with all the latest cruise news.