ships due in Miami to boost passenger flows
and Royal Caribbean cruise lines each plan to add ships in October
to their Port of Miami fleets.
Victory, which can carry 2,758 passengers, will sail on Oct. 15, said
Vicki Freed, senior vice president of sales & marketing. The 101,509-ton
vessel has a nine-story main atrium.
ship, Ms. Freed said, will depart every Sunday on Eastern and Western
Caribbean itineraries, with stops in St. Croix, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
and St. Thomas. She said the ship will use Miami as its home port
until summer 2001 when it will move to New York.
addition of the Victory will mean five Carnival vessels embark from
Caribbean also will increase its number of ships at the port with
the addition of the 142,000-ton Explorer of the Seas, said Michele
Smith, manager of corporate communications. The Explorer will be the
fourth Royal Caribbean ship here.
3,100-passenger liner is a sister ship to Voyager of the Seas, which
first came to Miami in 1998. Both ships can carry about 1,100 more
passengers than the average cruise ship.
Miami, Ms. Smith said, the Explorer will travel the Eastern Caribbean
every Saturday starting Oct. 28.
cruise ships currently dock at Port of Miami, same number as in 1999,
said Trenae Floyd, Port of Miami spokesperson. That number remains
unchanged after a proposal to tax cruise passengers leaving Miami
bill would have required passengers taking trips of more than a day
to pay $4 a day to help offset the cost of a new stadium for the Florida
Marlins baseball team. In an attempt to fight the tax proposal some
cruise lines threatened to move ships to other ports.
part of a ship exchange in May, Carnival plans to bring its Fascination
here from San Juan and send the Ecstasy to Los Angeles. The ships
are about the same size and this repositioning will not change the
total number of ships at the port.
are playing musical ships," Ms. Freed said. "By changing
ships, repeat visitors have a chance to get a different feel and see
Fascination will make three- and four-day trips to the Bahamas and
Cozumel departing Mondays and Fridays, she said. Built in 1994, it
can carry 2,042 passengers.
70,000-ton Ecstasy, based at the Port of Miami since it was built
in 1991, survived a large fire in 1998 while at sea. The blaze, which
originated in the crew's laundry area, left thousands of passengers
stranded at sea for several hours.
moving to Los Angeles, the Ecstasy will take four-day excursions to
Argentina and Mexico.
2000 Port of Miami has had an increase in passengers over the past
year, although the number of cruise ship dockings has declined, said
Ms. Floyd. As of July 31, the annual passenger count at the port was
nearly 2.9 million, she said, compared to nearly 2.6 million through
July '99. The number of cruise ship dockings during the same period
was 845, down from 862 in the previous year.
the cruise market is booming, industry officials said. According to
Cruise Lines International Association based in New York, the market
potential for the industry will be between $54 billion and $97 billion
in the next five years.
only 11% of the U.S. population has never taken a cruise, the industry
has seen a 1,000% growth in passenger traffic since 1980, the association's
Carnival, (305) 599-2600; Royal Caribbean, (305) 539-6000.