Florida’s PortMiami has set a global record in cruise passenger numbers, having welcomed almost 5 million guests in 2016, local media reported.
During the 2016 cruise season, the port saw 4.98 million multi-day passengers, a 1.5 percent rise from 4.91 million guests processed in 2015.
The rise is in line with the annual growth trend in cruise passenger traffic the port has been experiencing over the recent period. Specifically, in 2014, a total of 4.7 million passengers visited the port, while in 2015 the number reached 4.9 million, the port figures show.
In the 2016 cruise season, the port welcomed ships including Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL) Escape, Aida Cruises’ Aida Mar, Aida Vita and Aida Diva, Carnival Cruise Line’s Splendor and Royal Caribbean International’s Empress of the Seas, as well as two newbuildings, Carnival’s Carnival Vista and Regent’s Seven Seas Explorer.
Last year, Miami-Dade County signed an agreement with Royal Caribbean Cruises to construct and operate a new cruise terminal at PortMiami.
Scheduled for late 2018, the new 170,000-square-foot terminal will serve as a homeport for Royal Caribbean International’s vessels, including a 5,400 passenger Oasis-class ship, the world’s largest cruise ship.
In October 2016, Miami-Dade County revealed that a total of USD 33 million in state-funded grants will be allocated to PortMiami over the next five years.
The grant allocations will help fund the expansion of Cruise Terminal F into a mega cruise facility able to process more than 5,000 cruise passengers at a time.
World Maritime News Staff