Port Canaveral Makes Plans to Accommodate Coming Ships and Extend Visitor Stays

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Carnival Dream & Welcome Center

Port Canaveral, Florida’s fastest growing cruise port with 14 percent growth in multi-day passenger counts in 2011, and 21 percent growth in 2012, expects even more growth in its short-term future. As ship commitments for the next few years begin to fill available berths, the Port Authority is considering plans for an additional dedicated cruise terminal able to accommodate large ships and their guests in comfort. Preliminary planning includes an option to locate a terminal within easy reach of the innovative entertainment and recreation projects underway in The Cove district of the Port.

Maintaining Smooth Sailing
Port Canaveral is celebrated for its ease of use by ships’ crews and passengers, and the Port Authority is determined to preserve and enhance the low-stress quality of the Canaveral experience. The site of a new terminal would be chosen to make navigation as easy as possible for the largest modern cruise ships and for the land traffic associated with several thousand embarking passengers. Design factors for the facility itself include the provision of ample space to comfortably process large numbers of guests, with a clear and efficient flow pattern.

If approved, the proposed terminal would be developed through the design-build process used for the port’s newest cruise facility, Cruise Terminal 6. With the efficiencies of this process, a new terminal could be open as early as late-2014 or 2015.

Connecting Experiences To Increase Pre- and Post-Cruise Opportunities
Another criteria in the choice of a terminal site is the potential to make other port experiences—especially The Cove dining/entertainment/retail district and popular Jetty Park—easily accessible to cruise passengers. One of the most ship- and traffic-friendly potential sites is on the port’s south side, within a short walk of The Cove and close to Jetty Park and its lifeguard-protected ocean beach.

As Port Canaveral continues to attract more cruise business, it also is developing venues to entice passengers to stay longer and return more often. The Cove currently is undergoing a massive redevelopment to create a lively, appealing modern visitor destination. The anchor of the project, an iconic 7-story exploration center with observation decks and interactive exhibits, opens this fall. The exhibits and a movie (complete with surfers and pirate gold), produced just for this facility, will introduce visitors to all the attractions and resources of Florida’s Space Coast, motivating them to stay and explore this unique and historical area.

For more on Port Canaveral, visit portcanaveral.com.

Future planned additions to The Cove include an amphitheater for outdoor concerts, performances and other events, which is already in progress; public outdoor promenades; large and small retailers; and additional restaurants and entertainment choices. The Port Authority is evaluating the potential for development of a boutique hotel within The Cove in the future, to augment great nearby accommodation choices that currently include new beachside cabins in Jetty Park and Florida’s most affordable beachside hotels.