Port Everglades serves more than 4 million cruise passengers each year. It’s the third-busiest cruise port in the country, after Miami and Port Canaveral. The port has a history of hosting the biggest cruise ships in the world. In 2010, the world’s two largest cruise ships – Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas – began residencies at Port Everglades.
The man-made port was created in 1928 by dredging Lake Mabel, which lay near the Atlantic Ocean. President Calvin Coolidge officiated at the Port’s dedication ceremony. The port’s first cruise line, operated by United Fruit Company, arrived in 1931. During World War II, the port served as a military base. In 2009, the world’s largest cruise terminal was constructed at the Port.
Port Everglades will host 10 cruise lines in 2014, which together operate more than 40 cruise ships out of Fort Lauderdale. Most multi-day cruises from Port Everglades visit the Caribbean. Travelers interested in the Caribbean can choose between tours of the eastern Caribbean (St. Thomas, Tortola, Puerto Rico, and St. Maarten), the western Caribbean (Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Honduras and Belize) or the southern Caribbean (Curacao, Bonaire, St. Johns and Aruba).
Ships also cruise to the Bahamas from Port Everglades. BiminiSuperFast travels three times each week from Port Everglades to Bimini, Bahamas. The trip takes two hours. The Pinear del Rio makes the round-trip run to Freeport, Bahamas, each day. It’s three hours each way. Port Everglades cruise lines also offer multi-day cruises that include Freeport, and Nassau, Bahamas. Cruise ships also set out from Fort Lauderdale to Central America (Panama Canal) and South America (Amazon), as well as points beyond.
Port Everglades is recognized routinely by Porthole Magazine as the best homeport in the country, winning the award in 2013 and 2014. The port also received the magazine’s Best U.S. Homeport award in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Cruises set sail from the Port year-round, but the peak season runs from November to April.
Port Everglades is the primary transshipment point and storage facility for refined petroleum products included gasoline and jet fuel, imported into south Florida. More than 4,000 container ships traffic Port Everglades each year. At 43-feet deep at mean low water, it’s the deepest U.S. port south of Norfolk, VA.
Cruise Lines at Port Everglades (10)
Carnival Cruise Line http://www.carnival.com/
Celebrity Cruises http://www.celebritycruises.com/
Holland America Line http://www.hollandamerica.com/main/Main.action
ISE (Semester at Sea) http://www.semesteratsea.org/
Princess Cruises http://www.princess.com/
Royal Caribbean International http://www.royalcaribbean.com/home.do