On September 17th, Florida cruise hub Port Tampa Bay celebrated a major milestone: one million cruise ship passengers in a single year.
“A fantastic moment for Tampa Bay and our cruise partners”
After a record-breaking Easter weekend earlier this year, when nearly 30,000 passengers passed through the port, Port Tampa Bay CEO Paul Anderson was happy to celebrate surpassing another record. Anderson called the occasion “a fantastic moment for Port Tampa Bay and our cruise line partners,” and expects continued growth in the future.
Caribbean cruises keep Port Tampa Bay in the spotlight
Despite some political tensions between the US and Cuba, cruises heading for Havana have helped give Port Tampa Bay one of its busiest years on record. Carnival Cruise Line recently added an additional 20 cruises to Cuba departing from Port Tampa Bay, and Royal Caribbean’s massive new Majesty of the Seas is home ported there as well.
Holland America Line and Norwegian Cruise Line also offer plenty of Caribbean cruises from Port Tampa Bay, with itineraries headlined by ports in Mexico, Cuba, and Caribbean islands.
Development projects give cruisers more options in port
Supporting the rising demand for cruises departing Port Tampa Bay, port administrators are currently developing a $3 billion renovation project that will reinvigorate the local economy through dining, touring, and shopping opportunities for cruisers.
Cruise lines support local industry
On average, mid-size cruise ships can generate around $403,000 in revenue from passenger and crew spending for home ports like Port Tampa Bay, according to analysis by Business Research & Economic Advisors. Mega ships like Royal Caribbean’s new behemoth Majesty of the Seas will likely increase this influx of cash, thereby helping to revitalize the communities surrounding the port and funding more development and tourist projects.