Port Canaveral (cruise port to Orlando Florida) is the world's second bussiest (after Miami Florida). The homeport is a major touraround port destination (serving roundtrip itineraries) with annual shipping traffic over 4.5 million cruise ship tourists. Port Canaveral is considered a leading USA homeport by all the world’s largest cruise companies - Carnival, Royal Caribbean, NCL Norwegian and Disney,
Cape Canaveral is located on Florida's Atlantic coastline and between Miami and Jacksonville. Orlando City is bounded by Port Canaveral (to the north), Banana River (east), Cocoa Beach (south) and the Atlantic Ocean (to the west).
- As a deep water cargo port, Port Canaveral has a very high volume of traffic. More than 2,700,000 t (3,000,000 short tons) of bulk cargo moves through it annually. Common cargo includes petroleum, aggregate and cement. The port features hoppers and conveyors for loading produce directly into trucks, as well as bulk cargo containers' facilities. The channel is about 13 m (44 ft) deep.
- There is 70,000 m2 (750,000 ft2) of covered freight storage capacity. In 2004 Port Canaveral handled 3,600,000 t (4,000,000 short tons) of cargo. It exports fresh citrus and bulk frozen citrus juice is stored in one of the biggest freezer warehouses found in the state. The port also receives salt for water softening, lumber, automobiles, steel sheet and plate. Port Canaveral transships items for sea, air, space and land. Its Foreign Trade Zone is one of the nation's largest general purpose FTZs, more than 13 km2 (5 ml2). Each year the port boosts economy by 1/2 billion dollars.
- Cruise traffic appeared at Port Canaveral in 1964, with SS Yarmouth Castle, bought recently from Chadade Steamship Company by Yarmouth Cruise Lines. The vessel was American owned, with Panama registration. The ship burnt at sea between Nassau and Miami in 1965, and until the 1980s cruise traffic was limited.
- A lock was dedicated in 1965, as part of Canaveral Barge Canal. The Port Canaveral Lock is still in use, maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The focus throughout the 1960s-1970s remained shipping and commercial fishing, with three 120 m (400 ft) cargo piers constructed on port's north side in 1976, and succession of warehouses created in the port area.
- The port has played an important role in support of NASA projects from nearby John F.Kennedy Space Center and during Apollo program, Saturn V rocket's segments transited via the port and lock. The external tanks of the Space Shuttle were floated for each mission into Port Canaveral, and the rocket boosters were towed back via Port Canaveral after being fished from the Atlantic following each launch. In 1965 NASA contributed US$250,000 for lock's improvements.
- Following the President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration, in the end of January 2017 Port Canaveral officials reported cruise passengers being detained by US Customs and Border Protection. All detainees had to provide background info about them, their families and also their past life in their native countries. The new President's executive order was signed on Jan 27, and includes a 90-day ban on travel to the USA by citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.
- Port's statistics showed that just in March 2017, the number of visitng Port Canaveral cruise ship tourists was 469,847. This was the port's 1-month record and a 19% increase over March 2016.
- In August 2015, Port Canaveral commissioners approved an USD 81 million port development project for upgardes of terminals 5 and 10, aimed at handling larger-sized vessels (details in the "terminal" section below). The project's financing was secured through bank loans and bonds.
- In FY17 (fiscal year 2017 / Oct 1, 2016 - Sept 30, 2017), the cruise port handled a total of 4,520229 million passengers (6,4% increase over FY16). The number of multi-day passengers (4,234545 million) was a 7,1% increase over 2016.
- In early November 2017, Royal Caribbean announced the company's decision to homeport here in 2019 the world’s largest passenger vessel - Harmony of the Seas (max capacity 6687 passengers and 2100 crew). Starting May 2019, the Harmony ship offers 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean roundtrip itineraries. Harmony will replace Oasis of the Seas (re-deployed in 2019 to Miami). Also in 2019, Mariner of the Seas will be homeported here for 3- and 4-night short cruises to Bahamas. The Mariner ship has max capacity 4200 passengers and 1180 crew. The ship first arrived in Port Canaveral in 2003 (inaugural cruise on November 14).
- In December 2017, Carnival Cruise Lines announced the deployment here of Carnival Elation in 2019. Starting on May 12, 2019, the ship will operate an year-round schedule of 4- and 5-day “long weekend” Bahamas cruises. Departures are on Thursdays (4-day itinerary to Freeport and Nassau) and on Mondays and Saturdays (5-day itinerary to Amber Cove Dominican Republic and Grand Turk Island).
- In January 2018, was approved the construction of a new multi-purpose cargo ship berth - named "North Cargo Berth 8" (abbrev NCB8). The port's investment in the project will result in 900 ft / 274 m seawall and 100 ft / 31 m pier extension with capacity to handle vessels with LOA length up to 850 ft / 259 m. The new berth will be able to handle various heavy project cargoes (including aerospace). The berth's depth is 35 ft (11 m). The USD 17,9 million berth building contract was awarded to the Tampa Florida-based company Orion Marine Group. The contract includes building the bulkhead, seawall, relieving platform and the dredging. Construction works were scheduled to start in March 2018 and to be completed by mid-2019.
In December 2017, Port Canaveral completed the 6-month long West Turning Basin deepening project, now allowing max draft of 45 ft (13,7 m). Port's containership terminal (North Cargo berths 5 and 6) is operated by GT USA.
- During the dredging works were removed over 22,3 million ft3 (632,000 m3) of dredged material.
- For the dredging was contracted the company Dutra Group (based in San Rafael, California). The project's total cost was USD 7,5 million, with approx 2/3 of the cost covered by FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation).
- The port's entry channel is clear from obstructions like bridges and overhead power lines, as well as from air draft restrictions. West Turning Basin has quay length of approx 600 m (2000 ft) at draft 43 ft - one of East Coast USA's deepest cargo berths without vessel air draft limits.
Highlights: Orlando, NASA Space Center
Port Canaveral cruise terminal
Besides being a large cruise port, Port Canaveral is also among USA's (and the world's) largest naval and cargo sea ports. On average, each day 10 cruise vessels enter the port. The following cruise port map shows Port Canaveral port's infrastructure, the location of terminal facilities, connecting roads and transportation links to Orlando City.
Port Canaveral is the nearest Disney World city, situated about one hour east of Orlando by car. The Orlando International Airport is 45 miles away. The distance to Tampa is two hours and to Jacksonville – two hours and a half.
There are seven cruise terminals. In a regular use are 4 – numbers 5, 6, 8 and 10. They are newer, located on the north side and larger cruise ships dock there. The south side terminals are older. Gambling ships use terminal 2. Terminal 3 and terminal 4 are used rarely.
The cruise terminal parking rate is USD 15 per day (Port Authority subject to change). There is a parking lot beside each cruise terminal. Port Canaveral offers complimentary cruise parking for disabled Veterans. Approved are waiving cruise parking fees for vehicles with DV (Disabled Veteran) license plates issued under Florida Statutes "s.320.084", "s.320.0842" or "s.320.0845".
North (A Side) Cruise terminals (5, 6, 8, 10)
They are located on the A dock at the north side. Along is the Charles M Rowland Drive.
All are up to date and can handle the biggest cruise ship. Especially for Disney Cruise Line ships was built Cruise Terminal 8.
- In 2016, about USD 2,3 million were spent at Terminal 8's renovations. This cruise facility is used exclusively by Disney ships.
- Cruise Terminal 10 was reopened on November 19, 2016, following an USD 35 million expansion and upgrade project which took 6 months to complete. Terminal 10 (1994-built) is used by NCL (Norwegian Cruise Line).
- Renovation works included increasing the size of the two-story terminal building (from 97,050 to 125,825 ft2 / 9016 to 11690 m2).
- The lower floor's baggage processing area was increased from 42,800 to 64,400 ft2 (3976 to 5983 m2).
- The upper floor's passengers check-in area was increased from 54,250 to 61,430 ft2 (5040 to 5707 m2).
- The development project allowed the terminal to handle larger cruise ships (carrying up to 5,500 passengers). Previously, its max capacity was 3,600 passengers.
Among the major projects of the Cruise Terminal 10 renovations were:
- USD 25,69 million for terminal renovations, with H.J. High of Orlando as contractor. The downstairs area where baggage processing occurs increased from the previous 42,799 ft2 to 64,396 ft2. The upstairs area where passengers check in increased from the previous 54,249 ft2 to 61,428 ft2.
- USD 4,48 million were invested into new mobile Passenger Boarding Bridges (by the Spanish manufacturer ADELTE). The new mobile bridge systems replaced the old fixed gangways and provide better flexibility when used by differently-sized cruise vessels that have different heights and boarding door locations.
- USD 1,79 million were used for the existing cruise pier strengthening. The contractor (Vortex Marine of Oakland, California) used carbon fiber polymer technology to reinforce and extend the pier's life and structural capacity.
In 2016 was completed another (USD 48,38 million) renovation project at Cruise Terminal 5 - used mostly by Carnival Cruise Line. Among the improvements were terminal expansion, pier elongation (by 120 ft / 37 m), new mobile boarding bridges, new parking garage (capacity 1044 cars). The 1991-built cruise terminal 5 now allows berthing of larger ships (with up to 3500 passengers / previously up to 2500). For the project were contracted a total of 87 companies.
South (B Side) Cruise terminals (2, 3, 4)
They are located on the B dock at the southwest side. Along is the George King Boulevard. They were among the first cruise ships’ facilities of Port Canaveral and can handle not more than 1900 passengers.
- In late April 2017 at Port Canaveral started construction works of a new cruise terminal. The facility is on the site of Cruise Terminal 3, on the port's southern side and west of Jetty Park.
- The new passenger terminal cost was estimated at USD 150 million. At the new facility will be able to berth even the world's largest cruise vessels of the RCI's Oasis-class.
- In June 2017, engineering and design works for the new terminal were officially approved to go forward. Canaveral Port Authority Commissioners approved the US$1.2 million funding for CH2M Engineering’s project management contract at its meeting on June 7, taking the first step in a 2-year work plan to construct a state-of-the-art facility that is able to serve cruise ships with up to 8,000 passengers visiting Port Canaveral.
- CH2M Engineering will provide engineering, support services and the waterside design for port’s new Cruise Terminal 3.
- It is still unknown when the port will start constructing the new cruise ship terminal facilities, which are typically constructed within 1 year.
(new) Cruise Terminal 1
On November 5, 2016, in Port Canaveral arrived its ever largest passenger ship - Oasis of the Seas. The huge liner docked at the new "Cruise 1 Terminal" (inaugurated in December 2014).
- The facility's main tenant is RCI Royal Caribbean and was designed specifically to handle Oasis-class vessels.
- The new terminal is sized 188,000 ft2 (17,470 m2) and has a dedicated parking garage with capacity 1007 vehicles.
- The port development project cost USD 104,6 million.
- The Oasis ship was homeported here replacing the smaller Freedom of the Seas.
(new) Port Canaveral cruise terminal
In the end of June 2017, the port's commissioners voted to seek out companies interested in designing and building a new cruise ship terminal facility, with scheduled completion by 2019 fall.
- The cruise port's new passenger terminal project, along with a docking pier also includes building a dedicated parking garage (capacity 1200 vehicles), roadway and utility improvements. The new terminal has capacity to handle up to 8,000 cruise passengers at a time.
- The construction project was budgeted at USD 150 million. The new facility will be built on the site of the current "Cruise Terminal 3" (port's south side, west of Jetty Park), which means that Terminal 3 would have to be torn down.
- The project's design phase is expected to be completed by 2018 summer, with construction works starting in late-summer 2018.
Port Canaveral tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
- Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center: NASA’s base where Apollo missions have been launched. Watch a movie at the center of IMAX, learn the space exploration future at the Exploration Space show, go to the Apollo Center and the LC39 Gantry or try the Shuttle Launch Experience.
- US Astronaut Hall of Fame: 5 miles away from the Kennedy Space Center. Honor the American astronauts, watch the Science On A Sphere show, try the Sigma 7 Mercury rocket or a real training for astronauts.
- Jetty Park: park at the coastline with a beach, camping and a playground, picnic areas and pavilions. Enjoy the amazing marine traffic view from the pier, favorite place for fishermen and tourists. You can have a coffee, eat or buy something at the Cove Waterfront area, located between the park and the port.
- Cocoa Beach Pier: dating since 1962, Space coast best-known landmark located 4 miles away ftom Port Canaveral. It offers bars, souvenir shops, restaurants, live music and lively beach.
- Orlando Amusement Parks: enjoy the attractions Walt Disney World , Disney/MGM Studios, Universal Studios, Sea World of Florida and much more.
Port Port Canaveral cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Port Canaveral, Orlando, Florida. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
The Port Canaveral cruise port map is interactive. It shows the port's exact location, along with the real-time cruise ship traffic (if any) in its vicinity - today, and right now. By zooming-out you can see other cruise ship ports located near Port Canaveral, Orlando, Florida.
If you lose the Port Canaveral location on the map, simply reload the page (also with F5 button). This feature is integrated with the CruiseMapper's cruise ship tracker tracking the vessels' current positions at sea and in ports.
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