New Cruise Ship Terminal Set to Open to Visitors

Inside the Pier 2 passenger terminal.
Inside the Pier 2 passenger terminal.

(KHNL)  Honolulu Harbor's newest addition, Pier 2, is getting ready to open it's doors.

On Wednesday, state leaders attended a blessing ceremony for the $26.5 million facility.

"We think people who come here on vacation, especially their first visit, it's the first thing they're going to see, they're going to feel very comfortable and good," said Governor Linda Lingle.

It used to be an old warehouse. But it's been turned into a three-level, full-service passenger facility terminal that can hold up to 2,500 people at a time.

State leaders say they will continue to invest in these kinds of projects, that will accommodate the growing cruise and commercial shipping industries.

In 2005, close to 316-thousand cruise ship passengers visited Hawaii, marking a 31% increase. The total visitor days also rose, jumping 50%.

"Well I think it's a booming industry on a worldwide basis because the demographics and the aging of the baby boom population, also, just a very strong economy," said Robert Kritzman, executive vice president and managing director of Hawaii operations for NCL America.

Kritzman said Pier 2 will help his company operate more efficiently.

He and other state leaders believe the terminal will make a lasting impression on visitors and will help to bring back them back to Hawaii.

The terminal will officially open its doors on Saturday, when it welcomes the Norwegian Wind.