Puerto Rico plans $8.7M expansion of cruise ship pier in Old San Juan to welcome larger ships

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Puerto Rico's governor says he's expanding a pier in historic Old San Juan to accommodate cruise ships capable of carrying more than 6,000 passengers.

Alejandro Garcia Padilla said Wednesday that the $8.7 million project will extend the pier by 182 feet (55 meters) and build a new baggage inspection office.

He says the longer pier will be able to accommodate other large cruise ships including the Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas, which is to visit Puerto Rico for the first time in December 2014 and make nine more visits through 2015.

Garcia says cruise ship visits have generated more than $150 million so far this year, and visits by mega cruise ships are expected to generate an additional $300 million in the next decade.