Port Canaveral will be a popular stop for port-of-call cruise ships during the last months of 2019, with 38 vessels scheduled to visit the world’s second-busiest cruise port between now and Dec. 31.
Cruise ships from AIDA Cruises, TUI Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Holland America Line, Saga Cruises and Disney Cruise Line are expected to call at the Port, with many sailing itineraries from Europe to reposition for winter sailing schedules in the Caribbean, explained Port CEO Capt. John Murray at the Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners meeting last week.
“Port Canaveral is an enticing port-of-call for some of the world’s most prestigious cruise lines, and that means more visitors, more tourism dollars, and more attention focused on the Port and the Space Coast,” Murray said. “We are pleased to welcome these magnificent cruise ships and their guests, and we hope to generate even more port-of-call visits in the coming years.”
On Oct. 10, TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff I made her inaugural call to the Port, bringing more than 2,800 guests who visited local attractions or rode bicycles around the Port. While on an 11-day, round-trip cruise from New York to The Bahamas and back, the 16-deck cruise ship arrived at Cruise Terminal 10. Many disembarked guests boarded buses for excursions to nearby Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, while others chose to rent bicycles and tour the Port’s recreational areas.
Built in 2018, the 1,035-foot-long Mein Schiff 1 is co-owned by TUI Cruises, a German-based joint venture cruise company of TUI Group and Royal Caribbean International. The 111,500 gross-ton vessel offers mostly European itineraries, sailing from homeports in Hamburg and Kiel, Germany, and Las Palmas in the Canary Islands. Currently, the Mein Schiff 1 is offering New York-based cruises through Nov. 5.
In keeping with Port tradition, representatives from Port Canaveral and Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services presented Mein Schiff I Capt. Todd Burgman with plaques commemorating the cruise ship’s first visit to the Port. Intercruises is a global business offering turnaround, shore excursion, port operations and hotel-program services to the ocean and river cruise industry.
Other cruise ships that called on Port Canaveral recently were Holland America’s MS Zaandam on Oct. 15, AIDA Cruises’ AIDAluna on Oct. 21, Holland America’s MS Veendam on Oct. 22, and Norwegian’s Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Escape on Oct. 29.
Vessels planning upcoming port of calls include the Mein Schiff 1 on Oct. 30, Disney’s Disney Magic on Oct. 31, the AIDAluna on Nov. 3, Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the seas on Nov. 4 and Grandeur of the Seas on Nov. 5, AIDA Cruises’ AIDAdiva on Nov. 9 and Norwegian’s Norwegian Bliss on Nov. 26.
In total, 86 cruise ships carrying 284,833 guests made port-of-call stops at the Port during Fiscal Year 2019.
According to a newly released, Port-commissioned economic impact study by Business Research & Economic Advisers, cruise passengers on a port-of-call vessel at Port Canaveral spent on average nearly $80 per person and crew members spent an average of $103 per person during their time ashore.