The Florida port of Port Everglades has started the new cruise season by welcoming new ships, and will soon to become a homeport for Disney Cruise Line.
“We could very well top our 4 mill passenger record, although our official projected number is conservatively estimated at some 3.7 mill embarking and disembarking guests,” said CEO and Port Director, Jonathan Daniels. “As a trend, we are seeing more luxury ships, such as Viking and Ritz-Carlton and shorter itineraries from Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Disney.”
Thus far, since the start of the season in October, the port has welcomed first calls by three Viking Ocean ships and Phoenix Reisen’s ‘Artania’.
On 20th November, the ‘Disney Dream’ will homeport all year round utilising a purpose-built cruise terminal. The port’s partnership with Disney includes a 15-year agreement, which will see one ship homeported with a second seasonal ship to be announced in 2025.
This agreement will support around 1,111 direct jobs, generating $12.3 mill in state and local taxes over the 15 year period, according to a study undertaken by Martin Associates.
Adding Port Everglades as a second homeport will give Disney a dedicated terminal with direct highway access and one of the US’ fastest growing airports – Fort Lauderdale- Hollywood International Airport.
The port also said that it was looking forward to a busier summer next year with five cruise ships calling on a maximum of seven day itineraries.
In the future, environmental initiatives will include adding shore power to the port’s eight cruise terminals. A study was recently undertaken by Moffatt & Nichol, an infrastructure advisory firm working in co-operation with Florida Power & Light, Carnival Corp, Disney Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean.
A plan recommended the delivery of up to 16 MW of electricity simultaneously to each of the eight terminals in accordance with IEC/IEEE 80005 standards.
The project’s estimated cost, including FPL supply and distribution system upgrades, is around $20 mill per cruise terminal, giving a total cost of $160 mill.
It is expected to be financed through federal and state grants, contributions from FPL, the participating cruise lines and Broward County. It will be implemented in phases, while the earliest construction could start next year with all the phases completed by the end of 2027.