Carnival Cruise Line and the city of Mobile have reached a deal maintaining the city as a port of call for at least one more year.
Mayor Sandy Stimpson made the announcement Monday evening at a press conference at the Mobile Regional Airport after returning from a meeting at Carnival headquarters earlier in the day. According to a statement, Carnival’s one-year deal with the city to bring in the 855-foot Fantasy last year represented more than $4.7 million in gross revenue, which could increase to $6.4 million over a full calendar year.
“This agreement is evidence of the positive working relationship between the city of Mobile and Carnival,” Stimpson said in the statement. “We continue to build on the momentum of the growing cruise industry in Mobile and are committed to expanding the cruising options and destinations both in and out of our port.”
Over 190,000 cruisers are expected to spend more than $18 million in Mobile, with an direct impact of more than $35 million expected, the statement reads.
Because of the deal with Carnival, the city goes from sinking $2.4 million per year into the vacant cruise terminal to making $1 million “to the good,” Stimpson said. The proceeds will, in turn, go toward paying off debt on the building, he said
The agreement, which must be approved by the Mobile City Council, is good through December 2018. Stimpson said there will be another meeting with the company next year to discuss a company option for 2019.
As part of the agreement, the city must perform more maintenance on the cruise terminal gangway, Stimpson said.