SFCED | San Francisco Center for Economic Development

San Francisco’s $100 Million Cruise Ship Terminal Ready to Dock

For more than two decades, San Francisco has attempted to build a replacement for its cruise ship terminal at Pier 35. The converted freight shed built in 1914 lacks amenities, such as heat, and wasn’t designed to accommodate the large groups of passengers who disembark from modern cruise ships, which now carry more than 3,000 people.

This fall the city will finally be able to greet cruise lines with a new facility, a $100 million glass and aluminum two-story structure that offers spectacular views of downtown and Coit Tower.

“It’s been a long time coming to get this built,” said Peter Dailey, maritime director for the Port of San Francisco. “We’re really proud we could pull it off and we’re looking forward to having the first ship come in.”

That first cruise liner will dock in September or early October, carrying 3,000 passengers to Mexico or Alaska.

San Francisco’s tourism industry is fed to a greater degree by San Francisco International Airport, which handled a record 45 million passengers last year. But cruise ship passengers are still coveted by the city’s hotels, restaurants and shops. The average number of passengers on a ship is 3,345. Those travelers spend an average of $168 per day while in San Francisco. Some 260,000 passengers on 76 cruise ships will come to San Francisco this year, and next year the city expects to see an estimated 300,000 people on 82 ships.

Read more: San Francisco Business Times San Francisco’s $100 Million Cruise Ship Terminal Ready to Dock