Port Tampa Bay Exceeds One Million Cruise Ship Passengers for Second Time in a Row

- Media contact: Lisa Wolf-Chason, Director of Communications

                                Cell: 813-390-9464, Email: [email protected]


Nov. 14, 2019 – Port Tampa Bay welcomed more than one million cruise ship passengers for the fiscal year 2019. This is the second time in a row that the Port topped one million passengers, since it first celebrated the milestone in 2018. 


Port Tampa Bay continued to build on the historic milestone and surpassed last year’s mark of 1,043,329 passengers to reach a total of 1,149,289 who came through the Port in fiscal year 2019, a 10% increase in cruise passenger throughput. In 2019 five ships from Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International and Norwegian Cruise Line called Tampa as a homeport.


Business Research & Economic Advisors estimated that a 3,000 passenger ship generates an average of $334,000 in passenger and crew onshore spending per call in a homeport city. The development of Sparkman Wharf, Water Street, Armature Works and other hotel, dining, shopping, and entertainment projects in Tampa continue to boost the attractiveness of the bay area as a home port. Cruise passengers who visit Tampa have the convenience of a nationally top-ranked airport, next-door secure parking garages from all three cruise terminals, world-class beaches and local attractions like Busch Gardens, the Florida Aquarium, and Ybor City.


"Port Tampa Bay and our cruise line partners helped put Tampa on the map as an attractive and convenient port for domestic and international passengers," said Port Tampa Bay President/CEO Paul Anderson. "We are so pleased to celebrate passing this milestone for the second time and are excited to welcome two new cruise lines for the 2020 season and introduce even more people to Tampa Bay."


Earlier this year, Celebrity Cruises and Holland America announced they would be returning to homeport from Tampa for the 2020-2021 season, and MSC Cruises announced that they would begin sailing year-round in the fall of 2020, joining Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line to round out the year-round and season cruise offerings available via Port Tampa Bay. Carnival recently celebrated 25 years of sailing from Tampa. 


There are numerous options for cruise vacationers to choose when boarding a cruise in Tampa ranging from a quick 4-day cruise to Cozumel, a tour of the Southern Caribbean or Eastern Caribbean, to a longer 14-day excursion to the Panama Canal that includes stops in Central America and North Coast of South America. Port Tampa Bay and cruise line partners offer a wide range of itinerary choices from entry-level cruisers to experienced cruisers, which can be viewed online.

All of the major cruise lines serve Port Tampa Bay: Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Celebrity Cruises and MSC Cruises. 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, supporting nearly 85,000 jobs and generating over $18 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. For more information, visit www.portTB.com.