Jacksonville cruise port JAXPORT is located in northeastern Florida, USA. The port's cruise ship schedule has listed mainly roundtrip Bahamas cruises (4, 5, 7-day long itineraries) on the Carnival Cruise Lines ship Carnival Elation. The ship's current call ports are Nassau (New Providence), Freeport (Grand Bahama) and the private island Half Moon Cay, combined with Key West Florida on longer itineraries. Jacksonville is sometimes included as port of call in Panama Canal transition and World Cruise itineraries.
Port's first ever cruise vessel with regularly scheduled service from JAXPORT was MV Zenith - starting turnaround operations in October 2003. Back then, the ship was operated by Celebrity Cruises. This service was discontinued in 2005.
On February 27, 2004, Carnival christened the Carnival Miracle ship here, starting regularly scheduled roundtrip cruises from Jacksonville. In 2004 (May through August), Miracle was replaced by Carnival Jubilee. In October 12, 2004, here was homeported Carnival Celebration starting yearround roundtrips from Jacksonville The service was temporarily discontinued in 2008 (April through August), after which was restarted the Carnival's current Jacksonville-Bahamas cruise operations on Carnival Fascination,
In February 2005, during the Super Bowl XXXIX, JAXPORT housed 4 floating hotels, with a total of 3500 staterooms for the football fans in addition to all the onboard nightclubs, restaurants, bars and cafes.
JAXPORT cruise terminal is located just 15 min from JAX (Jacksonville International Airport). JAXPORT is operated by Jacksonville Port Authority company that manages the cruise facility, as well as all cargo terminals.
For FY2017 (Fiscal Year 2017), the port reported a record growth of its cargo terminals in terms of handled containers, vehicles and overall cargo tonnage. In 2017, JAXPORT handled over 1 million TEU containers (a 7% increase over FY2016).
When combined with the private terminals handled containers , over 1,3 million TEU units are moved through Port Jacksonville each year, ranking Jacksonville Florida’s largest containership port. Asian container shipping volumes in 2016 achieved a 19% growth, or nearly 400,000 TEUs moved. Currently, port's Asian sector accounts for nearly 40% of the total cargo shipping volume, which in 2013 was just 24%.
In 2017, JAXPORT scheduled a deepening project for the Jacksonville shipping channel (to max draft 14,3 m / 47 ft). This will result in increased cargo volumes by allowing access to some of the world's largest cargo vessels.
FY2017's general cargo shipping growth was another record - 9,3 million cargo tons (7% increase over FY2016). Drybulk cargoes increased 21% over FY2016 (total 862,338 tons). The container trade with Puerto Rico grew by 10%. Note: JAXPORT is USA's primary seaport for trade with the island.
In November 2017, JAXPORT started the construction of a new automobile terminal for processing and storage of new (foreign- and USA-made) vehicles.
- The new Dames Point Marine Terminal will increase by 25% port’s vehicle-handling capacity. It covers an area of over 100 acres (40 hectares). The new facility provides direct quayside access (for vehicle loading / unloading), as well as access to major interstate highways (connections less than 1 ml away) and rail capabilities.
- In 2017, JAXPORT's total vehicle throughput was 693,000 units (record year). By volume, the port is USA's second largest vehicle-handling port.
- JAXPORT serves 3 major auto processing companies (AMPORTS, "Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics", Toyota) and offers international service from 13 of the world’s largest Ro-Ro carriers.
On April 30, 2018, Carnival Corporation signed with JAXPORT an extension for cruise shipping services for additional 3 years. The agreement also included 3 additional 2-year renewal options and terminal improvements. The contract (May 2021 potentially through 2027) serves the 2019-upgraded Carnival Ecstasy to operate on year-round 4-5-day cruises. Carnival's JAXPORT cruise operations serve annually around 170,000 passengers. In FY2018 were handled 199,899 passengers.
On March 4, 2019, JAXPORT's Board of Directors approved a 25-year lease deal with SSA Marine (port terminal operator) for development and management of the container terminal at Blount Island. The USD 238,7 million facility "SSA Jacksonville International Gateway Terminal" will have deepwater berths and capacity to handle larger boxships (even when fully-loaded).
- By this project, SSA Marine will expand the terminal from 50 to 80 acres (optional up to 120 acres). The project will create around 3000 local jobs over contract's first 10 years.
- Upon completion of the JAXPORT Harbor Deepening project (in 2023), the expanded terminal will have a new turning basin and max draft (water depth) 14 m / 47 ft.
- SSA Marine contributed USD 28 million for the exclusive use of port's three gantry cranes (100-gauge each).
- SSA Marine also contributed USD 129,7 million for the exclusive terminal use and upgrades, including three new 100-gauge cranes.
- JAXPORT contributed USD 109 million in dock rehabilitation and terminal upgrades resulting in berthing capacity two Post-Panamax boxships simultaneously.
JAXPORT statistics 2018
In August 2018, JAXPORT reported a monthly record in TEU volumes - nearly 115,700 containers. The previous record (115,300 TEUs) was in December 2017.
- For FY2018 (fiscal year, Oct 1 through Sept 30), JAXPORT’s TEU volumes increased 20% (over 2017) - with total handled 1,3 million containers. Of those, 382,000 TEUs were on vessels serving USA-Asian routes, and 669,700 TEUs on the route USA-Puerto Rico.
- JAXPORT serves all three world’s largest shipping alliances (G6, CKYHE, OCEAN).
- For 2019 were scheduled dredging works for deepening Jacksonville’s ship channel (to max draft 14 m / 47 ft) allowing even larger boxships.
FY2018 was port's record year for cruise shipping - a total of 199,899 passengers, served by Carnival Elation. The homeported year-round in Jacksonville ship operates roundtrip tineraries to Freeport, Nassau, Princess Cays and Half Moon Cay. Starting May 2019, Carnival Ecstasy assumes Elation's current 4-5-day itinerary program.
Record growth was reported also in container shipping volumes - nearly 1,3 million TEUs (23% increase), ranking it Florida’s largest container port. The Asian boxshipping trade increased 12% (to nearly 429,000 TEUs).
- Ro-Ro shipping (wheeled cargo) was over 665,000 units.
- General cargo shipping volumes reached nearly 10,5 million tons (+12%).
- Liquid bulk cargo shipping increased 19% (to over 365,000 tons, mainly corn syrup and cooking oil).
- Boxshipping with Puerto Rico increased 37%. In 2018, from here were made the principal shipments of supply relief aid to the island following Hurricane Maria (September 2017).
Jacksonville cruise terminal
JAXPORT Cruise Terminal covers a total area of 5900 m2 (63,000 ft2) and is located at the northwest corner of Dames Point Marine Terminal. The facility was inaugurated in 2003 - completed in just 6 months. Vehicle access to the terminal is via Hecksher Drive (to the west of Dames Point Bridge). Interstate I-95 is few miles away. JAX (Jacksonville International Airport) is at around 15 min drive from the terminal.
JAXPORT has only one cruise berth (length 393 m / 1289 ft). The passenger embarkation area is sized 1400 m2 (15,000 ft2). The baggage area is sized over 2600 m2 (28,000 ft2). In front of the passenger terminal, there is a car parking (capacity around 600 vehicles) guarded 24/7. The parking is located next to the cruise terminal building.
On December 13, 2017, JAXPORT approved an USD 6,5 million redevelopment project that includes paving an area of 18,2 acres (73,650 m2 / 793 ,000 ft2). It is located close to the cruise terminal and will be used as a dedicated cruise parking facility.
- For the project was contracted the Jacksonville-based company "Pars Construction Services LLC".
- Works were scheduled to start in early 2018 and to be completed in November.
- Beside the new pavement, the project also included drainage, high-mast lighting, pay booths, electrical supply for the gate arms, security cameras, slope protection system (along Wynn’s Creek).
- The new parking lot allowed JAXPORT to convert its old cruise terminal parking area to an automobiles terminal (processing foreign- and USA-made cars).
Jacksonville tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
- Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens: visit the JAX zoo and meet more than 20 mammals and reptiles species. Get close to 1600 animals in amazing landscape area.
- Fort Clinch State Park: it dates from 1847. The old seafront fort will guide you through the daily life of the Union Soldier in the era of the Civil War.
- Museum of Science and History: or MOSH. The exhibitions are interesting for visitor from all ages.
- Museum of Southern History: go back to the Antebellum period.
- Kingsley Plantation: if you visit this cotton plantation, you will feel like you are in the late years of the 18th century. This is the “Sunshine State”‘s oldest plantation.
- Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens: along the St. John’s River you will find the amazing Ninah and Arthur Cummer artistick works collection. They shared the collection in 1961. Since then it rose from 60 to 5,000 works.
- Jacksonville Maritime Museum: great place to visit if you want to discover Florida naval vessels. There are a lot of interactive exhibitions and Titanic scale model.
- Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour: chose between guided tour or own walk in the beer brewing process. If you are over 21, don’t miss the “Tasting Room.”
Port Jacksonville 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 Jacksonville, JAXPORT, 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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The Jacksonville 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 Jacksonville, JAXPORT, Florida.
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