For the first time in more than 15 months, two cruise ships with passengers sailed from Port Everglades on the same day, Saturday, July 31.
Royal Caribbean International’s brand-new Odyssey of the Seas sailed on her inaugural cruise. At the same time, Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Edge departed on her sixth voyage since kicking off the industry’s restart on June 26 from Port Everglades.
In addition, Celebrity’s Celebrity Equinox is scheduled to sail on its second voyage on Sunday, August 1, for a total of three ships sailing during the off-season summer months.
“It’s starting to look a lot like a cruise port here again,” said Port Everglades Chief Executive and Port Director Jonathan Daniels.
“After no passengers or revenue for at least 15 months, and significant job loss, it is a greatly welcome re-start. The cruise lines and the port are doing all they can to enforce safe protocols to continue sailing.”
Cruises generated nearly $60 million in revenue annually at Port Everglades prior to the pandemic.
“The vaccine is a game-changer that will inject tourism dollars into our community,” said Broward County Mayor Steve Geller.
“Approximately 6,000 local workers have been directly impacted by the cruise shutdown and another 84,000 residents were employed in the local hospitality and tourism industry. Those jobs have been severely impacted by the virus and the pause in cruise travel.”
Port Everglades’ enviable location in the heart of Florida’s Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Dania Beach area and the neighboring Caribbean, makes it one of the three busiest cruise ports in the world, hosting nearly 4 million passengers annually pre-pandemic.