Key West voters approve 3 referendums that ban most ships operated by major cruise lines

   November 5, 2020 ,   Cruise Industry

Key West Florida voters approved a referendum to limit cruise shipping traffic to the island.

3 different referendums to limit cruise traffic passed, which will completely ban large cruise ships and limit small ship cruise traffic.

The new rules that passed include:

  1. Limit the number of daily cruise visitors at 1,500
  2. Prohibit cruise vessels with 1,300+ passengers from docking
  3. Give docking priority to cruise companies that have the best environmental and health records.

All 3 were approved by majorities of over 60%, with the "giving priority to cruise lines that have the best environmental and health records" proposal passing at more than 80%.

All 3 proposals passed with, respectively, 63.34%, 60.7%, and 81.19% voting yes.

Safer, Cleaner Ships is the organization lobbying and pushing for the referendums.

Port of Key West (Florida)

Key West was a minor call port for RCI-Royal Caribbean International, with a few liners visiting periodically, primarily smaller (older) ships, such as Majesty of the Seas and Brilliance of the Seas.

Now that the referendums have passed, they're binding, meaning they'll change the port city’s charter. 

In 2019, Key West FL had its busiest cruise year ever - a total of 417 cruise ship calls that brought nearly 965,000 tourists.