Port Canaveral is 52 miles east of Orlando and has been coined as the cruise port of Orlando. Port Canaveral is a cruise, cargo and naval port in Brevard County, Florida, United States. It is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world with 3.9 million cruise passengers passing through during 2014. As a deep water cargo port, it has a high volume of traffic. Over 3,000,000 short tons (2,700,000 t) of bulk cargo moves through each year. Common cargo includes cement, petroleum and aggregate. The port has conveyors and hoppers for loading products directly into trucks, and facilities for bulk cargo containers. The channel is about 44 feet (13 m) deep.
In the early 1980s, a new port director, Charles Rowland, shifted the focus towards developing the port to a Cruise port. In 1982, a 20,000 square feet (2,000 m2) warehouse on the north side of the port was converted into Cruise Terminal 1. The SS Scandinavian Sea, a 10,427 ton ship, was the first cruise ship to home-port at Port Canaveral. Early cruises were simple day cruises out into the ocean and back. The Port then purchased two former Bicentennial exhibit halls from NASA in 1983 and they became Terminals 2 and 3 in 1983. The following year the SS Royale of Premier Cruise Line was home-ported at Port Canaveral. The first year-round 3- and 4-day cruises to the Bahamas began. A fourth cruise terminal was Built in 1986. Expansion into the Western Turning Basin began with the construction of Terminal 5. The Carnival Fantasy started sailing from there at that time becoming the first mega-ship to call the Port home.
Carnival, Disney, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean International are some of the cruise lines which dock at one of the five cruise terminals. The port hosted 109,175 multi-day cruise passengers in October 2008. There was a high of 307,005 passengers in April 2009. This fell to a seasonal low of 221,557 in October. With the loss of daily gambling ship cruises, port authorities do not expect this high to be exceeded for some time. There were 2.8 million passengers in 2010.
Cruise ships docked at Port Canaveral. From left to right: Carnival, Disney, and Royal Caribbean ships.
In December 2014, Port Canaveral and Royal Caribbean International opened Terminal 1, a new terminal building built to handle the Oasis class ships. It was announced in March 2015 that Port Canaveral would become the new home port of the world’s largest cruise ship, the Oasis of the Seas. For cruise ship information and more, retain an accredited travel professional listed in the SailFace Agent Directory.
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