Captain Murray: Strong Future for Cruise at Port Canaveral

“We have a lot of big news,” said Captain John W. Murray, CEO of Port Canaveral. “All of it is contributing to our success.

“We started this year with 32 percent more passenger capacity in Port Canaveral than we had in our best year ever in 2019,” he said. “We have 11 homeported ships, and next season we will be at 13. It’s back to normal but we have tremendous upside … we have more ships and larger ships.”

That includes the recent arrival of the Carnival Freedom, the Norwegian Prima later this year and the MSC Seaside homeporting next April, plus the new Disney Wish.

The new Disney Wish will have her first revenue sailing in mid-July, with the ship arriving from Europe in mid-June to homeport year-round in Port Canaveral.

New terminal upgrades are ready for the Disney Wish, adjusting the security area and central part of the terminal, in addition to a new boarding bridge.

Cruise Terminal 5

Other improvements are coming at Cruise Terminal 5.

“It was built for ships less than 1,000 feet,” Captain Murray told Cruise Industry News. “We ended up putting in a new mooring dolphin and bollards, which is allowing Royal Caribbean to move the Mariner of the Seas there next week.

“Through the winter season, we have another Royal Caribbean ship coming in, plus the Norwegian Prima operating from there; we’re excited to have two ships operating from a facility we deemed obsolete a few years ago.”

Near-term growth is also picking up, as the Norwegian Getaway will homeport at Port Canaveral this summer and fall. The ship was originally scheduled to sail in Northern Europe.

2023 deployment moves also include the Allure of the Seas replacing Independence of the Seas at the port for Royal Caribbean International. She will be deployed on short three- and four-night cruises.  

Green Port

Port Canaveral led the way for the cruise industry in the United States with LNG, becoming the first port to have cruise ships bunker as Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras made history in 2021 when she filled up with LNG.

Carnival Mardi Gras

There are no plans to add shore power, Murray said.

“We have gotten some quotes and all appearances are unless someone wants to pay for it, it will be nearly impossible to do a shore power installation at ever terminal. It’s hugely expensive.”

When the Disney Wish arrives, she will bunker via barge with LNG as well.

He added: “Instead of investing in shore power, bring us your LNG ships.”

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