Port Canaveral looks to use cargo piers for cruise ships making port-of-call stops

The Queen Victoria cruise ship arrived Jan. 17, 2018, for a one-day port-of-call stop at Port Canaveral during her 74-night transatlantic journey. She has called on Port Canaveral more than 4 times since her first visit in 2011, and she’ll be back at Port Canaveral in March on the return leg of her journey. Video courtesy of Port Canaveral. Wochit

With a strong port-of-call cruise business, Port Canaveral is finding that it will need to get creative in how it accommodates the incoming ships.

So the port is looking into using cargo terminals to do double duty in also hosting cruise ships on occasion —  specifically the port-of-call ships that make stops at Port Canaveral, but are not based here.

The move is necessitated by the demolition of one of Port Canaveral’s smaller terminals, Cruise Terminal 3, east of the Cove area on the south side of the port.

A much-larger cruise terminal will take that terminal’s place. But construction of the new terminal will not be completed until late 2019 at the earliest. The Cruise Terminal 3 project has a budget of $150 million. It will include a 188,000-square-foot terminal with a 1,800-vehicle parking garage.

“With Cruise Terminal 3 offline for construction, there will be more than one occasion in 2019 when we will have more cruise ships scheduled to arrive in Port Canaveral than we have cruise terminals,” Port Canaveral Chief Executive Officer John Murray said. “Our challenge will be to balance the demand for berth space with availability, including using one of our cargo berths to accommodate an arriving cruise ship.”

Port Canaveral is an attractive port-of-call stop for cruise lines because of its proximity to the Orlando-area theme parks, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Cocoa Beach and ecotourism venues.

For the local tourism industry, attractions, restaurants and retailers all benefit from cruise ship port-of-call visits.

Brevard County Tourist Development Council Chairman Puneet “PK” Kapur said Port Canaveral is one of the biggest drivers of tourism on the Space Coast.

Article by Dave Berman, Florida Today, Complete Article [ HERE ]

Port-of-call volume

Port Canaveral has hosted more than 100 port-of-call cruise ship visits for each of the last five budget years. The port’s budget year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

2013-14: 138

2014-15: 105

2015-16: 123

2016-17: 107

2017-18: 119 (projection, based on 96 port-of-call visits through May, with another 23 scheduled from June through September)

Source: Canaveral Port Authority

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