Disney Cruise Line wants to base one of its ships Fort Lauderdale year-round starting in 2022.
Magical Cruise Company has requested the agreement with Port Everglades, so now it’s just up to Broward County to approve the deal.
This would be the company’s first year-round ship outside of Port Canaveral, where the cruise line is headquartered. Disney cruises stop at the company’s island Castaway Cay in the Bahamas and has sailed a ship seasonally out of PortMiami since 2012, but that contract expires in April 2024.
The company plans to add three new ships to its fleet by 2025.
The state of Florida filed a lawsuit demanding that cruise ships be allowed to start sailing immediately, and the CDC are "committed" to allowing cruise ships to resume passenger operations in mid-summer.
The CDC has been holding meetings twice a week with cruise line representations.
"We acknowledge that cruising will never be a zero-risk activity and that the goal of the CSO’s phased approach is to resume passenger operations in a way that mitigates the risk of COVID-19 transmission onboard cruise ships and across port communities," Aimee Treffiletti with the CDC’s Global Mitigation Task Force said. "We remain committed to the resumption of passenger operations in the United States following the requirements in the CSO by mid-summer, which aligns with the goals announced by many major cruise lines."
Treffiletti outlined that ships may be allowed to sail without conducting the required practice voyage if 98% of crew and 95% of passengers have been fully vaccinated.
Florida is the nation’s cruise capital with three of the world’s busiest ports: Miami, Port Canaveral near Kennedy Space Center, and Port Everglades near Fort Lauderdale. The industry generates billions for the state’s economy as millions of people typically cruise from one of Florida's ports each year.
“People are going to cruise one way or another. The question is are we going to do it out of Florida, which is the number one place to do it in the world, or are they going to be doing it out of the Bahamas or other locations?” Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a news conference.
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