Port News & Updates

Port Tampa Bay Marks More Than One Million Cruise Ship Passengers In One Year For The First Time Ever

- Contact:  Samara Sodos, Director of Public Relations, Port Tampa Bay – cell: 813-468-9882 – [email protected]

Port Tampa Bay welcomed its millionth cruise ship passenger for the fiscal year 2018. It is the first time the Port hit this milestone in its history.

On Monday, September 17, 2018, Port Tampa Bay surpassed the million cruise passenger mark when 1,000,524 passengers came through the Port. This past weekend, thousands more passengers continued to enjoy the Tampa area as three more ships called at port.

Business Research & Economic Advisors estimated that a 3,000 passenger ship generates an average of $403,000 in passenger and crew onshore spending per call in a homeport city. As Tampa continues to develop in the months and years ahead, including the impact of Sparkman Wharf, Water Street and other projects, that number is expected to dramatically grow, as cruise passengers will have many more opportunities for dining, shopping, and entertainment. Cruise passengers have long enjoyed the convenience of our nearby nationally top-ranked airport, next-door secure parking garages from all three cruise terminals – not to mention the draw of our stunning beaches and local attractions like Busch Gardens, the Florida Aquarium, and Ybor City.

"This is fantastic moment for Port Tampa Bay and our cruise line partners," said Port Tampa Bay President/CEO Paul Anderson. "This milestone shows that Tampa is truly a world class destination for cruise passengers."

As FY18 winds down, Port Tampa Bay is celebrating several cruise records and cruise business developments. Earlier this year, Port Tampa Bay saw two all-time record cruise passenger weekends, the highest traffic weekend being Easter weekend: March 31 - April 1st when 29,167 passengers were in and out of the Port. Additionally, Carnival Cruise Line added 20 more cruises to Cuba, completed a makeover of the Carnival Paradise, and doubled the Carnival's capacity in Tampa with the addition of the Carnival Miracle's only year-long program with seven day cruises from Port Tampa Bay. Royal Caribbean put a larger ship in rotation (Majesty of the Seas) with cruises to Cuba to accommodate a strong customer demand in Tampa.

There are numerous options for cruise vacationers to choose when boarding a cruise in Tampa.  Whether it’s a 4-day cruise to Cozumel, or a 5-day excursion to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Mahogany Bay, or Cuba, or 7 day to multiple western Caribbean destinations. Veteran cruisers can opt for 14-day Panama Canal cruises that include stops in Central America and North Coast of South America.  There are a wide range of itinerary choices from entry-level cruisers to experienced cruisers. 

All of the major cruise lines serve Port Tampa Bay:  Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Lines and Holland America Line.  Port Tampa Bay thanks all of our cruise line partners for their continued support. 

About Port Tampa Bay

Port Tampa Bay is Florida’s largest port and the largest economic engine in west central Florida, supporting nearly 85,000 jobs and generating over $17 billion in annual economic impact. In addition to being a top 10 U.S. cruise port, the port handles a wide array of bulk, break bulk, containers and roll-on/roll-off cargoes, and is a major shipbuilding and repair center. Port Tampa Bay was honored as 2016 Best Port Operator by Lloyd’s List. For more information, visit www.portTB.com.