Port Everglades is a seaport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, located in Broward County. Port Everglades is one of South Florida's foremost economic centers, as it is the gateway for both international trade and cruise vacations. In 2015, Port Everglades was ranked the third busiest cruise port in the world, accommodating 3.4 million passengers. It was also the busiest container port in Florida and 10th busiest in the United States, moving more than 1 million TEUs in 2013.
The port is also South Florida's main seaport for importing petroleum products including gasoline, jet fuel, and alternative fuels. The port serves is also the primary storage and distribution seaport for refined petroleum products. Port Everglades distributes fuel to 12 Florida counties. Port Everglades is also recognized as a favorite United States Navy liberty port. With a depth of 43 feet (13 m) (at mean low water), Port Everglades is currently the deepest port in the United States (Atlantic Ocean) south of Norfolk, Virginia.
The Port Everglades Department is a self-supporting Enterprise Fund of Broward County Government with operating revenues of approximately $153.2 million in Fiscal Year 2014. The port does not rely on local taxes for operations. The total value of economic activity at Port Everglades is nearly $15.3 billion annually. Approximately 160,000 Florida jobs are impacted by the Port, including 11,400 people who work for companies that provide direct services to Port Everglades.
Port Everglades is the #1 Seaport in Florida by Revenue, the #1 Container Port in Florida. Port Everglades was also the #2 Multi-Day Cruise Port in the World with 877 ship calls and 4 million passengers in 2015, and the #2 Petroleum Port in Florida with 564 ship calls and 112.3 million barrels.
Port Everglades is composed of land within three municipalities, Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale and Dania Beach and unincorporated Broward County. Port Everglades is a manmade seaport. The port was originally dredged from Lake Mabel, a natural body of water that was a wide and shallow section of the Florida East Coast Canal system. In 1911, the Florida Board of Trade passed a resolution that called for a deep-water port. The port was originally intended to ship produce to the North and the West. In 1913, the Fort Lauderdale Harbor Company was formed and eventually dug out the Lake Mabel Cut, which opened the New River to the sea and created access for small boats.
In 1924, the founder and mayor of the city of Hollywood, Florida, Joseph Wesley Young, bought 1,440 acres (5.8 km2) of land adjacent to the lake. He then created the Hollywood Harbor Development Company. Three years later, the Florida Legislature established the Broward County Port Authority. On February 22, 1928, 85 percent of Broward County's residents gathered for a ceremony in which President Calvin Coolidge was to push a button from the White House detonating explosives to remove the rock barrier separating the harbor from the Atlantic Ocean. The button malfunctioned, but the barrier was removed shortly thereafter.
Bay Mabel Harbor was dedicated on February 22, 1928. Many of South Florida’s local women's clubs agreed that the port needed a new name to better represent the region. They held a name changing contest, and the name Port Everglades was selected. The reason for this was as follows: "The gateway to the rich agricultural area embraced in the 4 million acres (16,000 km²) at the Port's very backdoor."  The container handling capacity of the port was increased with a new 41-acre (170,000 m2) terminal, completed in 2010. The expansion increased Port Everglades' freight handling area by 15%.
In 2015, the US Army Corps of Engineers approved a new phase of expansion for Port Everglades that would involve deepening and widening channels. Federal legislation in 2016 is expected to authorize the expansion. The port currently serves ships from Europe and South America that are too large to fit through the Panama Canal, which is undergoing expansion, but the ships must be under a certain load to fit properly in the port. The expansion will increase main navigational channels from 42 feet to 48 feet and deepen and widen both the Entrance Channel and parts of the Intracoastal Waterway. It is expected that the project will be completed by 2022, creating approximately 4,700 construction jobs and 1,500 direct jobs locally with an estimated cost of $374 million for the expansion. No local property taxes will be used for the project.
On December 21, 2003, the port had a record 15 cruise ships. No other port in the world at that time had hosted 10 or more cruise ships on a single day. The closest competitors are: Port of Barcelona with 9 ships the 26 of August 2011 Miami with 8 ships and Port of New York with 7 ships on a single day.
Port Everglades broke its own world record on November 26, 2011, with more than 53,500 guests passing through the Port in a single day. The previous record was set on March 20, 2010, with 53,365 passengers. In 2010, Port Everglades documented 55 cruise ships offering regularly scheduled cruises. With 15 different cruise lines, Port Everglades claims to offer more cruise lines, more sailings, and more itineraries than any other port in the world.
Seatrade Insider named Port Everglades "World's Top Cruise Port" during the 2010 Seatrade Insider Cruise Awards ceremony at the historic l'Opera in Nice, France. From 2008-2014, Port Everglades was chosen as the Best U.S. Homeport by Porthole Cruise Magazine, an international cruise travel magazine. In 2015, the port lost to Miami. In 2016, Port Everglades won the award again.
In 2016, Port Everglades broke the world record again when the port served 54,700 cruise passengers in and out of the port. Incidentally, both records served the same eight cruise ships: the Carnival Conquest, the Celebrity Silhouette, Holland America’s Eurodam, Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam, Princess' Regal Princess, Princess' Royal Princess, Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, and Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas.
As of December 2012[update], Port Everglades is the world's third busiest cruise port after PortMiami and Port Canaveral, with more than 3.5 million annual revenue cruise passengers in 2013. As of 2014-2015 Fiscal Year, approximately 50% of cruise passengers through the port were residents of the East Coast. The number 1 home for these passengers was Toronto, Canada. Four other Canadian cities were in the top 25 residences.
62% of passengers stayed in South Florida for at least one night prior to the cruise. 51% of passengers came from a hotel prior to the cruise, and 21% came from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The top hotel chains that passengers stayed in included Rodeway Inn and Holiday Inn. There is one Rodeway Inn in Fort Lauderdale: Rodeway Inn and Suites, Fort Lauderdale Airport and Port Everglades Cruise Port. There are multiple Holiday Inn chains. 21% of passengers stayed overnight in South Florida after the cruise, with 46% staying in Fort Lauderdale.
31% of passengers booked cruises through the website, 63% of passengers booked cruise travel separately from airfare. The mode age of cruise travelers cruising once a year was 55-64, and the mode age for those who cruise twice a year was 65-74. In 2014, Port Everglades generated over $28 billion in business activity. The port also generated over 224,000 jobs throughout the state of Florida. This resulted in a total of $809,333 taxes collected on the state and local level.
Ships sail from Port Everglades year round, but the peak season is from November to April. Port Everglades was once home to RMS Queen Elizabeth when she was laid up as a museum ship from 1968 until 1970. Besides the RMS Queen Elizabeth, Port Everglades has been used to dock many notable and famous ships. In 2004, the Queen Mary 2 completed her maiden voyage and her maiden transatlantic voyage at Port Everglades.
In December 2009, Royal Caribbean International began using Port Everglades as the home port for the then-largest passenger ship in the world, the Oasis of the Seas. In late 2010, she was joined at Port Everglades by her sister ship Allure of the Seas. In November 2016, Port Everglades was expected to receive Royal Caribbean’s MS Harmony of the Seas, which began cruising from Port Everglades in April 2017. The cruise ship serves both the Eastern and Western Caribbean, including destinations such as The Bahamas, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Haiti, Jamaica, and Mexico.
The Celebrity Edge will come to Port Everglades in 2018. In preparation for this ships arrival, Broward County agreed to overhaul Port Everglades. The modification to the port is scheduled to be completed by November, 2018. $42 million worth of upgrades to the terminal will be performed specifically to accommodate the Celebrity Edge, and a total of $75 million is slated to be spent in the upgrade of Port Everglades overall.
Port Everglades has a large economic impact on Broward County. In 2016, the Port generated over $29 billion in business activity and over 222,000 jobs throughout the State of Florida.
Port Everglades is the second largest American port for shipping goods to Cuba.
There are a few hotels influenced by the Port's tourism traffic. Rodeway Inn and Suites Fort Lauderdale Airport and Port Everglades Cruise Port, located on Marina Mile, is close to the Port. It is considered an affordable option for cruisers, and offers free parking and shuttle. The Embassy Suites by Hilton Fort Lauderdale 17th Street is a mid-priced hotel that receives cruise traffic as well.
A regular tradition of the condominium residents who live next to the channel of Port Everglades in Everglades House, Sky Harbor East and Point Of Americas I and II is to bid bon voyage to cruise ships as they embark on their voyages from Port Everglades. To wish the passengers a safe trip, the residents blow horns and ring bells, with the ships usually responding by blowing their horns back. Some residents fly flags of the ships to pay patronage to having sailed on the ship.
Cruise ships operating out of Port Everglades in the 2015-2016 Winter Season:
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