Savannah takes another step towards cruise ship terminal

By Don Logana - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Savannah is continuing to explore the idea hosting a cruise ship terminal at the city's port.

A $130,000 study has been approved by city council to decide if a cruise ship terminal would work in Savannah.

The study may be just the beginning of Savannah's newest venture.

Ten months after the words cruise ship were first uttered in Savannah, a study has now been secured.

"This is a giant step forward," Alderman Tony Thomas told WTOC.

Thomas has been leading the cruise ship charge. The city has approved a $130,000 bid for a feasability study by a Miami-based firm to look at Savannah and possible cruise ship terminal.

Charleston has one. Jacksonville has one. People continue to ask, why not Savannah?

"I can't think of why we wouldn't want a cruise ship in Savannah. It makes sense," Joel Caplan said.

"I think the idea is great. It would create jobs and boost the economy," Earl Williams said.

Thomas feels the same, and plans on meeting with other communities, specificially Key West, Fla., as the study gets under way.

"This will give us time to talk to other communities to see what are the pros and cons," Thomas said.

The question now is, where would they put a cruise ship terminal? One of the locations is just beyond the Tallmadge Bridge.

"People would come to Savannah to get on the ship to go to these destinations," Thomas said. "That's over 100,000 new people coming and spending money in Savannah."

Before they can start negotiating with cruise ship companies, Thomas said that Savannah first needs a permanent terminal, something Jacksonville, Fla., is looking at doing right now.

"We are not building it yet. It's a step forward to see if we will build it or not," Thomas said. "This is the biggest step forward. This information will give us what we need."

The city hopes to have those answers to their cruise ship questions in a just a few months. Thomas said the Savannah City Council will look at the information and then meet with the public to see if they should go further and take the plunge into the cruise industry.

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