Port Canaveral, the world’s second-busiest cruise port, is reporting record profits through the 2021-2022 financial year. This recovery is partly due to a strong comeback in cruising.
The 2021-2022 financial year ended on September 30 and Port Canaveral executives expected income to come in around $109 million. However, since cruise ships were cruising at 100% and up to 135% occupancy, the income was almost 20% higher. The precise income was $128 million and cruise-related income accounted for about 75% of that revenue.
“The year ended up quite successfully, considering how we started at the tail end of the pandemic,” Port Canaveral Chief Executive Officer John Murray said.
Port Canaveral sees about 5 million cruisers a year making it the second-busiest cruise port in the world. With it being so accessible in central Florida, Port Canaveral has been named the best cruise port in the world on numerous occasions.
When cruising restarted in the middle of 2021, it was expected the strict guidelines from the CDC would remain in effect through 2022. However, the CDC removed all measures for cruise ships in July 2022, and cruising quickly increased occupancy levels to pre-pandemic ranges.
Cruise ships using Port Canaveral as a homeport typically sail at 100% occupancy but sail as much as 135% of double occupancy due to families and groups traveling together with more than two people in a stateroom.
Cruisers passing through the port began to exceed in the spring with more than 300,000 cruisers each month. Port Canaveral ended the fiscal year with 729 cruise ship calls and 4.1 million passengers. This next year the number is expected to increase significantly.
Port Canaveral is projecting the 2022-2023 fiscal year to be the busiest it has seen. It is projecting 909 ship calls with 5.8 million passengers. This is being attributed to the arrival of some of the biggest cruise ships including Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas, which will homeport at Port Canaveral for the winter season and the next couple of years.
Five cruise lines use Port Canaveral as their homeport: Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean Cruises.
Port Canaveral also generates income from cargo shipping, local recreation and businesses along with other operations.
How about you? Do you cruise from Port Canaveral?