Cruise ports growing, one ship at a time

It was a first time for Queen Victoria, the luxury liner from Cunard Line, to visit Florida’s Port Canaveral. That’s a big deal for a port of call. The people who run Port Canaveral hope this first visit is one of many to come in the future and rolled out the red carpet for the latest Queen to come calling. Ships in port mean big business to the local economy and Port Canaveral seems to be getting their share of ships, one ship at a time.

Local dignitaries from the Port Canaveral board of commissioners and Mayors from surrounding cities were on hand for a formal ceremony and luncheon that included a traditional exchange of plaques commemorating the occasion.

“It has been 15 years since a Queen stopped at Port Canaveral. In 1995 we had 937, 000 passengers, in 2010 we had 2.6 million. Much has changed at Port Canaveral and too much time has passed since the visit of a Queen” said Port Canaveral CEO Stan Payne.

Also new to Port Canaveral, larger Disney Dream began service not long ago, replacing smaller Disney Wonder that was moved to the west coast. Not long ago, Carnival Cruise Lines announced adding another ship to the Port Canaveral roster, 2,052-passenger Carnival Ecstasy will operate four- and five-day voyages to the Bahamas. The port hopes Queen Victoria, or any other ship in the Cunard Line will stop again.

“…so today we celebrate our friendship with Cunard Line aboard the magnificent Queen Victoria and we hope to celebrate before another 15 years has passed” added Payne.

Queen Victoria is the smallest of ships in the Cunard Line at 90,000 ton and small by today’s standards as well. At just 2000 passengers, the 2007 addition to the Cunard fleet left Port Canaveral on a 14-night transatlantic voyage.