After two years of renovations at the port, digging deeper into the Buttermilk Channel, securing bulkheads on the pier and constructing a functional terminal for tourists, the massive Queen Mary 2 cruise ship docked at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook inaugurating the space on April 15, 2006.
The terminal, located at Red Hook Pier 12, is 800 feet long and can only dock one titanic (pun intended) ship at a time. Even with the oversize pier, floating behemoths such as the Queen Mary 2 still stretch over 200 feet beyond the pier. The port itself is 180,000 square feet, facing north towards Manhattan, with a view of Governor’s Island.
In addition to being a gateway for family fun on the various cruise lines that use the port, the terminal has major economic importance, delivering nearly one-fifth of all the tourists who visit New York, providing hundreds of millions of dollars to New York City per year. The opening of the Red Hook terminal was also the initiation of a gradual transition of the Brooklyn waterfront. The pier was converted from an old freight terminal and is still surrounded by other industrial ports.
The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is not the only changing aspect of the area, however, as the land lining the Upper Bay has become increasingly modified for recreational use and is now a healthy mix of industry, restaurants, parks and accommodation.