Port Everglades, FL
Sitting on the east coast of Florida, in Fort Lauderdale, lies Port Everglades, a deepwater port that sees shipping traffic that includes ocean-going freighters as well as cruise ships from around the world. Port Everglades has set some world records and achieved some great milestones in the cruise ship industry. It has been named the third busiest cruise ship port in the world, and hosts tens of millions of cruise ship passengers every year.
A Long History
Port Everglades began its history in the early 1900's when the Florida Board of Trade needed a deepwater port in order to move farmers' produce to the Northern and Western United States. Eventually, a canal was dredged to open Lake Mabel to the sea, and shipping traffic began flowing through the new port. In 1928, the harbor was dedicated with a name change to port, which was thought to be representative of the port's surrounding agricultural area.
Over time, the port grew and its first cruise line moored there in 1931. The port was also used as a military base during World War II and, after the war, the port's accessibility began to attract more and more cruise lines from around the world, and ships that have visited the port include the Queen Mary 2, the world's largest and most expensive ocean liner at the time.
The world record for the most cruise ships moored in a single day was set by port in 2003, when the port hosted 15 cruise ships in one day, and broke the record for the most passengers in a single day in 2011 when over 53,500 passengers went through the port.
Other Notable Features
There are many other features that make port a remarkable place. Not only is it a center for cruise ships, but there is a nearby airport, cargo facilities and homes and condominiums all within a short distance of the cruise ship port.
- 2010 saw port named as the home port of the cruise ships Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas. These two ships are currently the largest cruise ships in the world.
- After Port Canaveral and Port Miami, Everglades is the third busiest port in the world, with over 3.5 million passengers moving through it every year.
- Condominium residents who live next to the channel into port have a tradition of bidding bon-voyage to the ships as they leave port on their journeys. Residents ring bells, sound horns and wave flags, and the ships sound their own horns in response.
- Port authorities have updated their 20-year plan and vision for the port. This plan includes expansion of the cargo storage areas of the port, the addition of new berths to handle more shipping traffic, and work on the channel to widen and deepen it. Finally, a rail line is planned to bring rail freight directly into the port.
Port Everglades is an impressive place all-around. If you're travelling on a cruise ship to or from this port, you are in for a treat and will be experiencing one of the busiest cruise ship terminals in the world.