The new Norwegian Cruise Line terminal at PortMiami

(2:38 p.m. EDT) -- The groundbreaking for Norwegian Cruise Line's exclusive cruise terminal at PortMiami was held this morning at Terminal B after plans for the modern building received approval by Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners on April 10.

Present at the ceremony was Frank Del Rio, president and CEOof Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.; Andy Stuart, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line; Howard Sherman, executive vice president of onboard revenue and destination services; Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez; Miami-Dade County commissioner Rebeca Sosa; PortMiami director and CEO Juan Kuryla; Florida State Representative Cynthia Stafford; and leading executives from the architecture and construction firms on record, Bermello Ajamil & Partners and the NV2A-Haskell joint venture.

Renderings of the translucent, oval-shaped terminal building show a large NCL logo on the lefthand side, and a blue structure resembling a wave that runs its width. According to the Norwegian Cruise Line blog, inspiration for the open and airy design was derived from a nautilus. The project will adhere to LEED Silver standards, with a focus on optimizing energy, indoor air quality, water efficiency, and employing the use of local materials and resources.

The terminal will be an estimated 166,500 square feet and is expected to accommodate ships of up to 5,000 passengers.

Norwegian's new cruise terminal will also feature indoor and outdoor waiting areas, as well as new technology to support a faster and more efficient embarkation and disembarkation processes, and expedited security screening and luggage check-in, according to the blog. Groups and charters will have a dedicated lounge and service area, and a new parking garage and valet parking area are in the works.

Construction on the terminal will begin May 1, 2018 and is expected to reach completion in fall 2019, when Norwegian's forthcoming cruise ship, the 3,998-passenger Norwegian Encore, will make Miami its homeport.

--By Brittany Chrusciel, Associate Editor