san juan puerto rico port with cruise ships
Cruise ships docked in San Juan.

San Juan, Puerto Rico’s Cruise Port Is Getting a Makeover

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - February 15, 2024

It’s one of the busiest ports in the Caribbean: the port of San Juan, Puerto Rico, where cruise passengers flock for the city’s mix of historic charm, towering colonial forts and vibrant culture. 

Following a major new investment, a new company has official taken over operations at the port: Global Ports Holding, the fast-expanding cruise powerhouse whose Caribbean portfolio also includes Nassau, Antigua and Saint Lucia. 

GPH’s San Juan Cruise Port LLC has closed on a PPP agreement and concluded debt financing for the first phase of what will be a major new investment in the port. 

puerto rico
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

That includes $187 million in financing, along with equity capital invested by GPH, with the goal of repairing, rebuilding and upgrading the infrastructure of the San Juan Cruise Port. 

While the port is extremely popular, GPH says “significant investment in port infrastructure is needed.”

So what is in store for San Juan’s port? 

The plan is to modernize the port experience, including upgrades to terminal buildings, the walkway in front of the Old San Juan piers, and other infrastructure repairs. 

The idea, GPH says, is to integtrate the port into Old San Juan and Puerto Rico’s booming tourism sector. 

The second phase of the project will be the construction of a new cruise pier, and a new homeport terminal that can facilitate the world’s largest cruise ports. 

Last year, San Juan received 1.8 million cruise passengers, including 400,000 homeport passengers. 

“We are delighted to welcome San Juan Cruise Port into the world’s largest cruise port network. 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,” said Mehmet Kutman, chairman and CEO of GPH. “The successful closing of this transaction represents a milestone for our company and for Puerto Rico. 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 has been very active in the Caribbean, including its $250 million transformation of the Nassau Cruise Port that concluded last year. 

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