North America's Winter Cruise Capital Proves Consumers are Responding to Cruising's Outstanding Value
Fort Lauderdale, FL — March 12, 2009 — In an indication that consumer demand for cruising remains strong despite a struggling economy, a recent poll conducted by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) shows that Florida's cruise ports have experienced gains in January 2009 over the same period in 2008. Four out of the five major ports in the state, which annually represent over 50 percent of all cruise embarkations, reported 6.9 percent to 44 percent increases in numbers of cruise passengers processed in January 2009 compared to January 2008. Two of the ports reported single day records.
'This would be good news in any year but considering the current economic climate, the fact that the North American cruising is experiencing positive growth is certainly encouraging,' said Terry Dale, CLIA's president and CEO. 'This indicates that consumers are responding positively to the excellent value that the cruise lines are offering.'
Port Everglades, in Fort Lauderdale, which processes the largest number of cruise passengers, handled just over 500,000 cruise passengers in January, for a 17.6 percent increase, and a single day record - January 3, 2009 - of 49,234 passenger moves involving 11 cruise ships.* Miami processed 421,629 cruise passengers in 2009, for a 6.9 percent increase; Tampa handled 84,546 passengers for an 17.8 percent increase; and Jacksonville made the largest jump, 44.5 percent, and processed 32,397 guests. Jacksonville also had a one-day record - January 1, 2009 - of 2,504 embarking passengers due to the sailing of the Carnival Fascination.
Due to 2009 cruise line redeployments, Port Canaveral remained consistent with its 2008 numbers, with an indication of gains though the rest of the year based on welcoming two ships for their maiden visits, including Royal Caribbean International's 3,634-passenger Freedom of the Seas, and the 3,646 Carnival Dream. Port Everglades will welcome five newcomers to the port in 2009: Oasis of the Seas (5,400 passengers), Celebrity Equinox (2,850 passengers), MSC Poesia (2,550 passengers), Seabourn Odyssey (450 passengers) and Seabourn Spirit (208 passengers). All but Seabourn Spirit, MSC Poesia and Freedom of the Seas are brand new vessels joining the CLIA fleet in 2009.
- Totals represent embarkations, disembarkations and, in some cases, in-transit passengers