Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale’s cruise port) is a major seaport located in Broward County, Florida USA. The port is one of Florida's largest economic centers, and South Florida's gateway for both international cargo and cruise passenger shipping traffic.
Port Everglades is one of USA's main cruise departure (turnaround) ports for Caribbean roundtrip itineraries. Fort Lauderdale is located approx 50 km (30 mi) from Miami.
Since 2011, the cruiseferry company BALEARIA Caribbean provides daily crossings from Fort Lauderdale to Freeport (Grand Bahama Island). In August 2019, the company started a fast-ferry service from Fort Lauderdale to Bimini Island Bahamas (crossing time ~2 hours). The fat-ferry (catamaran ship) has passenger capacity 650, max speed 38 knots (70 kph / 44 mph) and offers 5 weekly crossings with departures on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Port Everglades cruise port
Port Everglades' cruise ship tourism-related operations have a total annual economic value of nearly USD 30 billion. It is accounted for approx 160,000 jobs (port-related businesses), including ~11,400 jobs in companies directly providing services to the port. On average, each cruise vessel generates approx USD 2,2 million in revenue for local businesses.
Port Everglades is South Florida's main seaport for importing, storage and distribution of petroleum products and alternative fuels. The waterway's depth is 43 ft (13 m), ranking it USA's deepest seaport on the Atlantic coast (south of Norfolk VA, not on the US East Coast in general).
Cruise port's statistics for season 2014-2015 showed that:
- approx 50% of all cruise ship passengers were US East Coast residents. Most international passengers were flying from Toronto, Canada.
- 62% of all cruise passengers (pax) stayed in South Florida overnight (prior departure), 21% stayed overnight after the cruise, 46% stayed in Fort Lauderdale hotels.
- 51% of all pax had Fort Lauderdale hotel booked (prior departure).
- 21% of all pax arrived from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, which is conveniently located next the cruise port.
- 31% of all pax booked cruises online (through port's website).
- 63% of all pax flying in Ft Lauderdale booked cruises separately from airfare.
- The average age of once a year cruising tourists was 55-64 yo. Twice a year cruising tourists were 65-74 yo.
In 2014, the seaport generated over USD 28 billion and was accounted for over 224,000 jobs throughout Florida. In 2015, the cruise port was ranked world's 3rd busiest for handling 877 ship calls and over 3,4 million passengers. In 2016, Port Everglades handled almost 3,9 million passengers served by 9 different cruise lines with a total of 39 different vessels.
Among cruise port's new technology implementations are new CBP programs (US Customs and Border Protection), including the "Global Entry" program (allowing expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the USA) and MPC (Mobile Passport Control, authorized smartphone app to expedite travelers entry process into the USA). Port Everglades is the ever first seaport offering this app. Travelers can use the MPC app to provide biographic info prior to speaking with Customs officers. Since summer 2015, the port gives preferential processing to cruise passengers with Global Entry cards.
In 2016, the cruise port completed pilot testing of APC kiosks (abbrev "Automated Passport Control") in 2 terminals. This is yet another CBP initiative to fasten the passenger inspection process. In 2017, port's "Navigation Improvements Project" received federal authorization for the US Army Corps of Engineers to dredge (deepen and widen) its navigational channels The project is anticipated to create around 2200 construction jobs plus around 1500 permanent local jobs as result of the increased cargo shipping traffic.
On November 4, 2016, world's largest cruise ships (Royal Caribbean's Oasis-class vessels Allure, Oasis and Harmony) came together off Port Everglades for the first time. Carrying together over 16,000 passengers, the three liners joined up to celebrate the USA-homeporting of Harmony of the Seas (newest Oasis ship) in Fort Lauderdale. Of the three ships, Harmony was the newest but also the biggest - even though by only 1 ft (30 cm) and 1700 tons. Harmony OTS was finishing her inaugural Transatlantic repositioning crossing.
Following President Trump's executive order on immigration, in the end of January 2017 Port Everglades 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 order was signed on Jan 27, and included a 90-day ban on travel to the USA by citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.
Starting December 22, 2017 (through April 2018), HAL Holland America Line (Carnival Corporation brand) scheduled cruises to Cuba roundtrip from Port Everglades on MS Veendam. HAL's 7-, 11-12-days long Cuban itineraries from Fort Lauderdale also visited other Caribbean ports. HAL's prices started from USD 900 per person (double occupancy inside cabin rates). Bookings opened on May 26, 2017. The 210-passenger ship Pearl Mist became the ever-first to operate roundtrip Fort Lauderdale to Cuba cruises, with 10-day itineraries (January through April 2017).
For FY2019 (fiscal year) the cruise port handled ~3,892 million tourists (1% increase over FY18). On December 1st, Port Everglades reported a new "One Day World Record" with handled 55964 cruise passengers (arriving and departing). The previous single-day record was also in Port Everglades and reported on March 13, 2016 (55885 passengers).
As container shipping (cargo) port, in 2013 Port Everglades was ranked Florida's 1st and USA's 10th busiest, handling over 1 million TEUs.
In 2015, the port received its LEED certification (abbrev "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design") for Cruise Terminal 4. Following a renovation project, Terminal 4 received major energy-efficient improvements. The features that made the Terminal 4 cruise facility eligible for LEED certification include:
- use of regionally produced materials (within 500 mi / 800 km of the terminal)
- use of recycled asphalt and concrete in construction works
- use of natural light within the building
- use of low VOC products (abbrev "volatile organic compounds") for coating, flooring, paints, adhesives
- low-water usage toilets
- energy-efficient windows, air-conditioning, lighting (inside / outside)
In June 2017, the port invested USD 38,4 million for purchasing 3 container-handling gantry cranes (serving the world's largest Super Post-Panamax container carriers/boxships) priced USD 13,8 million each. This class of cargo vessels can carry up to 10,500 TEU-containers each. Port Everglades' capacity improvements project was budgeted USD 437,5 million, and included construction of new berths (for larger cargo vessels) and installing a new rail infrastructure for new gantry cranes.
For FY17 (fiscal year 2017 / ending on September 30) Port Everglades reported increased cruise passenger shipping volumes as well as a record year for container shipping volumes.
- In 2017 it handled a total of 1,076893 million TEUs or an increase of 4% over FY16. The last record year was FY15 (1,060507 million TEUs). Petroleum shipping volumes (FY17 over FY16) increased by 1% - from 121,068561 million to 122,267524 million barrels.
- There was also an increase in reefer volumes (refrigerated containers) carrying produce from Central America. This containerized cargo segment represents over 50% of all perishable cargoes shipped to Florida. The other major containerized import cargoes are apparel, tiles, beverages, machinery, auto parts.
- The increase in passenger shipping numbers (FY17 over FY16) was 1% as the port handled a total of 3,863662 million pax. Multi-day cruise ship tourists increased by 2% (3,680549 to 3,738252 million pax). Among the largest newcomers in 2017 were the liners Harmony of the Seas (RCI) and MS Koningsdam (HAL).
- Port's FY17 operating revenue was USD 163 million. The port's total economic value was nearly USD 30 billion, with over 222,000 local (Florida) jobs impacted, of which around 13,000 employed by companies providing direct services to the employed port.
On May 10, 2018, USCG Cutter James offloaded in Port Everglades approx 6 tons of cocaine (street value USD 180 million) interdicted in international waters in the Pacific Ocean. Drugs were seized by 3 USCG cutters (Bertholf, Bear, James) and from 6 separate drug smuggling ships navigating off Central and South America and Mexico in the period February-April 2018. In June-July were seized over 7 tons of cocaine by cutters Mohawk (3395 kg), Tampa (1363 kg), Venturous (741 kg), Alert (981 kg).
In June 2018, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) installed an advanced sensor system designed for real-time monitoring of tides, water currents, sea levels and other meteo information at Port Everglades. The new "Port Everglades Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System" provides online data accessible to private boaters and commercial users.
In early-December 2018, Port Everglades and Empresa Nacional Portuaria de Honduras (Honduras Port Authority) signed an MOU as part of the Sister Seaports Program. Honduras is Port Everglades’ largest trade partner by shipping volume, including total TEUs. Over USD 2,12 billion worth of goods are annually shipped through the seaport.
In 2020-2025, at Port Everglades will be conducted major infrastructure development works (~USD 1,6 billion) including navigation channels dredging (deepening from 42 to 50 ft / 13 to 15 m) and widening (to allow access to Neo-Panamax ships), building a new facility at USCG Station Fort Lauderdale, building a new parking garage (to serve Cruise Terminal 2 and Cruise Terminal 4).
Fort Lauderdale cruise terminal
The northern part of Port Everglades is called Northport (with terminals 2 and 4). The cruise port's central area is called Midport (with terminals 18, 19, 21, 25, 26, 29). All the port's cruise ship terminals are located in the Hollywood Harbor.
By Fall 2020 is scheduled for completion a new cruise parking garage serving Cruise Terminal 2 and Cruise Terminal 4. The garage has capacity 1818 vehicles and features an air-conditioned bridge (with autowalks) linking directly to Terminal 2 Ocean Medallion Terminal).
Northport Cruise Terminals
Both Northport cruise ship terminals are provided with standard services and amenities, such as disabled access, check-in desks, full-served A/C, free seating areas, baggage handling area. These terminals are utilizied by MSC Cruises (Terminal 4) and Princess Crusies (Terminal 2).
Port Everglades’ "Northport Terminal 2" and "Northport Terminal 4" share a car parking at multi-storey garage with capacity thousands of cars. Parking prices are USD 15 daily.
Cruise Terminal 2 (Princess Cruises)
On November 10, 2017, Carnival Corporation completed Cruise Terminal 2's reconstruction and upgrade. This facility is used exclusively by Princess Cruises ships.
- Following the modernization, the terminal now features an optimized design, interactive experiences, indoor movie theater, re-designed pre-embarkation area.
- The project also included adding Carnival's xIoT network (serving the Ocean Medallion gadgets) which allows passengers on Medallion-equipped vessels expedited boarding (as soon as they enter the facility). The new interactive experience includes personal "Ocean Tagalongs" (serving as guests' digital avatars) displayed on a large LED screen surrounding the "Ocean Portal" (where passengers enter after security clearance and check-in). Ocean Tagalongs are created and personalized via the SocialOcean mobile app.
- The refurbished Terminal 2 now has Carnival's MedallionNet - top-quality Wi-Fi connectivity service.
- Regal Princess was the first cruise ship departing from the modernized Terminal 2 on NOvember 13, 2017.
Midport Cruise Terminals
All cruise terminals at Midporth provide usual facilities like disabled access, luggage handling, free areas for seating, automated gangway bridge (for passenger embarkation/disembarkation), restrooms, vending machines.
- Port Everglades’ Midporth Terminal 18 has a large car parking. Midporth Terminals 19 through 29 all offer parking at the Midport’s garage.
- Terminal 18 and Terminal 29 are utilized by various cruise ship companies and operators.
- Exclusive cruise terminals are Terminal 26 (Holland America Line), Terminal 21 (Carnival Cruise Line), Terminal 19 (Princess Cruises), Terminal 25 (Royal Caribbean / RCCL lines).
There are also plans for future using of Terminal 29. By the signed agreement, Carnival Corporation ships will use exclusively the facilities on terminals 2, 21 and 26. By the previously signed 15-year agreement (1995-2010), Port Everglades invested over USD 54 million in facility renovations and infrastructure improvements to the 4 terminals. Among the enhancements were 2 new mobile gangways (passenger bridges), separate (enlarged) baggage storage facilities, improved ground transportation.
T25 - Terminal 25 (Celebrity Cruises)
In early-June 2017 was announced that Port Everglades invests over USD 114 million in Terminal 25's renovations. This is preferential berth for RCCL-Royal Caribbean ships. The new agreement's period is until 2026, with optional extention until 2030, followed by additional 5 years.
Terminal 25 was redesigned and rebranded by Celebrity Cruises. The expansion project included larger luggage area, new VIP reception (The Retreat - exclusive lounge), private rooftop terrace, dedicated crew lounge (industry's first), elevator lobbies, screening areas, 136 m2 (1463 ft2) GKD Mediamesh-produced LED sign (interactive light wall wrapping building's exterior). For Terminal 25's new design was contracted the company "Bermello Ajamil and Partners". The new T25 offers expedited arrival with seamless check-in.
RCCL (which also owns Celebrity Cruises) homeported Celebrity Edge here, starting turnaround operations on December 1, 2018). The liner arrived on November 20, following a 15-day Tranatlantic crossing from France (Saint-Nazaire shipyard). The new T25 terminal (in Hollywood FL) was officially inaugurated with the ship's arrival via grand ceremony attended by Richard Fain (RCCL's President and CEO) and Lisa Lutoff-Perlo (Celebrity's President and CEO), plus key cruise brand executives and local officials. An exclusive event was hosted at NSU's Oceanographic Center.
Northport Cruise Terminal 4
Northport Terminal 4 was reopened in 2015 following an USD 24 million renovation and modernization project for greater efficiency and passenger convenience.
- In mid-2017 were completed the works on Cruise Terminal 4's extensions (project cost USD 13,6 million) which allows now docking of larger vessels.
- In August 2016, the port signed with Carnival Corporation an extension to their agreement to the year 2030. Plans for Cruise Terminal 21's expansion were included. The renovation and extension allow handling of larger-sized (including Carnival's newest) vessels. As part of the addendum, Carnival Corporation receives preferential use of Terminal 4.
- Since October 2017, larger cruise liners (LOA length up to 1100 ft / 335 m) can dock at Cruise Terminal 4 without extending into the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway - 3000 mi / 4800 km long inland waterway along USA's Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts). The USD 18 million "Slip 2" project lengthened the slip from 900 ft (274 m) to 1125 ft (343 m). The extended berth now meets the needs of most modern cruise vessels, many of which were for the first time homeported in Port Everglades in 2017. For the slip extension project the port didn't use local taxes.
Port Everglades is a major turnaround port, so it is good at getting cruise passengers in and out efficiently. The port is very busy. Following the arrival of Celebrity Edge to Port Everglades, the new ship of Holland America, ms Nieuw Statendam, makes its debut at the port on December 19, 2018.
Fort Lauderdale tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
- Riverwalk is a paved riverside path on the banks of New River in Fort Lauderdale.
- Stranahan House is the city's earliest residence built by the “father of Fort Lauderdale,” Frank Stranahan in 1901.
- Fort Lauderdale History Center is themed on the city's history.
- Bonnet House Museum And Gardens were built in 1920s by Frederick Clay Bartlett as winter residence to get away from Chicago.
- Forth Lauderdale’s South Beach Park is the nearest to downtown beach. It is lifeguarded and unique as it borders a paved promenade street.
Port Fort Lauderdale 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 Fort Lauderdale, Port Everglades, Florida. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
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