Port Everglades is kicking off the 2023-24 cruise season by welcoming new cruise lines and ships, and establishing itself as a new homeport for Disney Cruise Line, according to a press release.
“We could very well top our 4 million passenger record, although our ‘official’ projected number is conservatively estimated at some 3.7 million embarking and disembarking guests,” said Port Everglades CEO and Port Director Jonathan Daniels.
“As a trend, we are seeing more luxury ships such as Viking and Ritz-Carlton, and shorter itineraries from Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Disney,” Daniels added.
So far this season, which started in October, Port Everglades has welcomed first calls from Viking’s expedition ships Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, Viking Mars, as well as Phoenix Reisen’s Artania.
Beginning November 20, 2023, the Disney Dream will homeport year-round in a specially designed cruise terminal dedicated for Disney Cruise Line guests. The partnership with Disney includes a 15-year agreement with one ship to be homeported in Port Everglades year-round and joined by a second, seasonal ship, to be announced, in 2025.
Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Ascent debuts at Port Everglades with two 3- and 4-night preview sailings in November 2023 before being named at Port Everglades on December 1, 2023, and embarking on her inaugural Caribbean season with alternating 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. Celebrity Ascent is the fourth ship in Celebrity’s Edge Series class, and one of seven Celebrity ships to sail from Port Everglades this season.
The Silver Nova will be named at Port Everglades on January 4, 2024. This will be the first ship to use liquefied natural gas (LNG) as its main fuel at Port Everglades.
Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis-class Symphony of the Seas will shift to Port Everglades after returning from Europe in November 2023 and will sail alternating 6- and 8-night cruises to the Caribbean.
Azamara also joins the Port Everglades fleet for the first time with the arrival of the Azamara Onward on November 30, 2023. Azamara Onward will finish the 2024 season at Port Everglades with an inaugural 155-night World Voyage departing January 5, 2024, visiting over 40 countries with 22 overnight stays and 27 late nights in port.
Port Everglades said it also looking forward to having a busier than usual summer 2024 with five cruise ships including Celebrity Beyond (7-days), Celebrity Reflection (3- and 4-days), Disney Magic (3-, 4- and 5-days), Enchanted Princess (7-days), and Freedom of the Seas (7 days).
Princess Cruises will homeport the brand-new Sun Princess at Port Everglades beginning in October 2024. The Sun Princess, the first in the line’s new Sphere class, will be Princess Cruises’ first LNG-fueled ship and its largest, accommodating more than 4,000 guests.
The newly rebranded luxury line Crystal recently announced that it will move from Miami and begin homeporting from Port Everglades in November 2024, with the completely refurbished Crystal Serenity.
Port Everglades has completed a study to add shore power to the port’s eight cruise terminals, which will allow cruise ships to use electricity while idling in port instead of burning fuel. The study was performed by Moffatt & Nichol, a global infrastructure advisory firm working in cooperation with Florida Power & Light (FPL), Carnival Corporation, Disney Cruise Line and the Royal Caribbean Group. The recommended plan is capable of delivering up to 16 megawatts of electricity simultaneously to each of the eight terminals in accordance with IEC/IEEE 80005 standards.
The projected cost for the project, including the estimates for FPL supply and distribution system upgrades, is approximately $20 million per cruise terminal, for a total cost of $160 million. The project is expected to be financed through federal and state grant funds, contributions from FPL, the participating cruise lines, and Broward County. Implementation will occur in phases. The earliest construction could occur is mid-2024 with all phases completed by the end of 2027, the port said.