Why choose anywhere but Tampa?
Why Port Tampa Bay is an ideal homeport for cruise lines wanting to offer exciting itineraries and pre- and post-cruise activities
As any itinerary planner knows, cruises provide guests with a unique and wonderful way to explore the world, allowing them to continuously move between beautiful locations and make memories that will last a lifetime. Every port of call on an itinerary plays a vital role in creating an enjoyable cruise experience, but what about the homeport?
Embarkation is as crucial to the overall cruise experience as the ship, its onboard amenities and the itinerary of picturesque ports. A homeport that is easy to navigate, and provides a variety of unique and interesting activities just steps from the ship? Now that’s an attractive prospect for guests. And that’s exactly what cruise operators and their itinerary planners will find at Port Tampa Bay on Florida’s West Coast.
Positive impressions start from the moment the cruise guests arrive at the modern, award-winning Tampa International Airport. The airport is a convenient 15-minute drive from the Channelside District in Downtown Tampa, which enables travellers to get a view of the water and soak up the Florida vibe and sunshine before they arrive at one of the three cruise terminals.
But that’s just the beginning. One of the growing trends both cruise lines and their itinerary planners are seeing is an increase in the number of guests who are interested in extending their cruise by enjoying the pre- and post-cruise activities in the homeport city.
Tampa is ideally suited for catering to this trend, given that it is located between some of the world’s most popular theme parks (including Busch Gardens in Tampa) and acclaimed beaches with crystal-clear waters in the cities of Clearwater and St. Pete Beach. In addition, guests are just steps from the sights, sounds and experiences of Downtown Tampa. The district is a destination in itself, thanks to attractions like the Florida Aquarium, Sparkman Wharf, new shops and restaurants on Water Street, the unique Ybor City (Tampa’s Latin Quarter) and Downtown Tampa’s Riverwalk, which has spectacular views and is close to eateries and nightlife.
Port Tampa Bay and the city’s tight network of forward-thinking tourism organisations work together to provide cruise lines’ itinerary planners with the high-quality services they need to help their guests make the most of these tourist attractions during their time in Tampa. For example, Visit Tampa Bay (the city’s tourism agency) collaborates closely with Port Tampa Bay and Tampa International Airport to assist itinerary planners with transportation options that can handle all sizes of guest groups.
Multiple cruise lines have already reaped the benefits of homeporting their ships at Port Tampa Bay. Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Paradise and Carnival Pride, Royal Caribbean International’s Brilliance of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas, Celebrity Cruises' Constellation and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Dawn all sail out of the city, enabling cruise travellers to explore multiple destinations across the Caribbean and Central America.
To learn more about the various destinations our cruise partners sail to, visit our Cruise Destinations page.