Located in Broward County, Florida along the Atlantic coast just 23 miles north of Miami, Fort Lauderdale is the second busiest cruise port in the world. With a more refined ambience than that cultivated by the glitzy megaships that visit the Port of Miami, this sophisticated port is the beginning of many luxurious cruise vacations.
Cruises from Fort Lauderdale
More than 3.5 million passengers begin their vacations at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. With the deepest natural harbor on the Atlantic Ocean south of Norfolk, Virginia, many large vessels can be accommodated at the twelve passenger terminals. The city is also home to several cruise lines’ headquarters, including:
- Radisson Seven Seas Cruises: Though the Radisson Seven Seas cruise line is small, it consistently delivers decadent luxury on a wide range of itinerary options.
- Silversea Cruises: An ultraluxury cruise line, Silversea offers discriminating service and superior experiences to all its passengers.
- Costa Cruises: Costa delivers an active and adventurous cruise experience on numerous Caribbean and European voyages.
- Imperial Majesty: Imperial Majesty offers unique two-night cruises on the Regal Empress for passengers interested in a quick getaway without sacrificing the festivity of a cruise.
- MSC Cruises: With distinctive Italian flair, MSC Cruises entertains passengers with a wide variety of different cruise options on eight different ships.
In addition to the lines based in Fort Lauderdale, a wide variety of lines offer cruises departing from the city, including Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Princess Cruises, Cunard Cruise Line, and Holland America Cruise Line. Passengers who want to sail from a modern, convenient port but wish to avoid the hassle of Miami should consult a travel agent for updated departure options available from Port Everglades.
With so many cruise lines operating from the city, there are many different itinerary options available. Depending on the cruise line and specific ships, voyages include eastern and western Caribbean itineraries, Bahamas cruises, and the Panama Canal. Because the port is home to many exclusive luxury lines, more exotic destinations include southern Caribbean ports such as Aruba and Curacao, Amazon and South American ports, Central America voyages, and many other unusual ports of call.
Visiting Fort Lauderdale
While the cruise may be the core of the vacation, visiting Fort Lauderdale can be an enjoyable accompaniment. The city is home to many affluent beach hotels and resorts, and while there is less active nightlife than in Miami, scattered lounges do offer music ranging from jazz to hip-hop to classic rock. Shopping is a favorite pastime in this south Florida upscale city, and Antique Row is a collection of 200 quaint antique shops less than three miles from the port. Several cruise lines offer shore excursions in the area, including Everglades airboat rides and city highlight tours. Numerous museums and upscale promenades are also available for visitors who wish to explore the city on their own.
Getting to Port Everglades
Port Everglades is conveniently located only two miles from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, and depending on traffic it may take only a few minutes to transfer from the airport to the cruise port. Passengers also have the option of flying into Miami International Airport, less than thirty miles away. Three entrances lead into the port facilities depending on the specific route, and passengers should pay close attention to posted directions to find the proper terminal. Two parking lots are available for cruise passengers at $12 per day.
For more information about cruise arrangements out of Port Everglades, contact the official website, www.broward.org/port. Passengers can also call the port at 954-523-3404 or visit the headquarters at 1850 Eller Drive.