After 10 years of solid growth, Port Everglades in Ft Lauderdale, Florida will see fewer cruise ships in the coming season. The port expects 3.64 million cruise passengers, down from 3.66 million this past season.
The cruise season which runs from October through September will see 45 ships call on the port, down from 55 last year. One of the reason for fewer ships calling on Port Everglades is that there are fewer newer ships being built this year. Cruise lines have begun to spread out their newer ships. The Carnival Magic, a 3,390 passenger ship, made it’s debut in Europe before heading to the port in Galveston, Texas in November.
Although there will be fewer ships, the ships that do call on the port are some of the largest ships at sea, including the 2 largest. Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas each sail from Port Everglades. Each ship carries 6,000 passengers, almost triple what the average ship carried a decade ago. Although here are fewer ships calling on the port, officials expect passenger traffic to resume growth.
The cruise industry has been a major economic boom in Broward County. Port officials said that 4,780 jobs have been created through the port generating $45.7 million in port revenue. Since 2000, passenger traffic is up almost 130% from 1.59 million to 3.66 million passengers for the current year.
There will be one new ship calling on Port Everglades this year, the 450 passenger Seabourn Quest. The ultra luxury ship’s cabins start at $3,999 a person, based on double occupancy. All of the cabins are suites and there is a 11,400 square foot spa on board. Also included are 4 dining options and 6 bars and lounges.
The Port of Miami expects traffic to continue to be around the 4 million mark for the current season, staying lightly ahead of Port Everglades. Some of the finest cruise ships in the world are based in South Florida, and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon.