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PortMiami welcoming new vessels, more cruise lines

PortMiami welcoming new vessels, more cruise lines

PortMiami, the Cruise Capital of the World, is poised for new growth as it welcomes an impressive roster of new cruise lines and new vessels to its fleet in coming weeks boosting even further the cruise industry’s contribution to local tourism.

The 2012-13 cruise season was to launch with the arrival of six ships in eight weeks, the first being the Regent Seven Seas Navigator on Nov. 8. Along with the relocation of its sister ship the Regent Seven Seas Mariner on Jan. 7, 2013, the luxury brand will now homeport at PortMiami.

Also, coming in the next eight weeks are:

Carnival Cruise Lines’ newest and largest ship, the Carnival Breeze;

Oceania Cruises will introduce its newest ship, the Oceania Riviera to the U.S. market at PortMiami;

Celebrity Cruise Lines will begin sailing its newest ship, the Celebrity Reflection, from PortMiami. The ship is the fifth in the line’s premium Solstice Class, and

Disney Cruise Lines will enter the Miami market when the Disney Wonder begins sailing from PortMiami for the first time.

Additionally, the Mediterranean line, MSC Cruises will begin sailing from PortMiami in Fall 2013 when it brings its newest ship the MSC Divina here. Furthermore, in 2014, Norwegian Cruise Line will launch the Norwegian Getaway, currently under construction in Germany.

“PortMiami, long known as the Cruise Capital of the World, is well-positioned for new growth,” said PortMiami director Bill Johnson. “We look forward to what is our largest expansion ever of new cruise brands and new build vessels in a single cruise season.” Johnson noted that PortMiami recently trademarked its designation as “Cruise Capital of the World,” which recognizes that the port is where modern day cruising began and is the world’s leading cruise port.

PortMiami is Miami-Dade County’s second most important economic engine contributing $18 billion annually to the local economy and supporting more than 180,000 jobs in Greater Miami. For the past four years, more than four million cruise passengers have traveled through PortMiami annually, more than any other port in the world.

PortMiami’s impressive roster of 14 cruise lines offers a wide-range of itineraries to destinations in the Bahamas, Mexico, Caribbean, South America and beyond. PortMiami terminal facilities are among the most modern in the world and provide easy passenger boarding and departure. Currently underway are $15 million in improvements to PortMiami’s Cruise Terminal D, which will homeport the Carnival Breeze

The growth at PortMiami is in conjunction with the tourism numbers recorded by the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) which earlier this year announced a record-breaking 13.4 million overnight visitors in 2011. Greater Miami and the Beaches offers a wealth of pre- and post-cruise options for cruise passengers to extend their travel or vacation with stays in the destination.

“Cruise passengers are important to the continual growth of Greater Miami’s travel and tourism industry as they contribute millions of dollars annually to the local economy and generate jobs by staying in hotels, riding in taxis, eating in restaurants, visiting attractions and shopping,” said GMCVB president and CEO William D. Talbert III, CDME. “We are delighted to welcome cruise passengers from around the world who come to PortMiami and contribute mightily to tourism, Miami-Dade County’s No. 1 industry.”

Welcoming events will be held by the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau for each of the new ships scheduled to set sail and the public is welcome to attend them at Smith & Wollensky in Miami Beach. Details for those scheduled to depart before year’s end are as follows:

Oceania Riviera (Oceania Cruises): Scheduled to set sail on Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. with its welcome event from 5 to 7 p.m. PortMiami welcoming new vessels, more cruise lines,

Carnival Breeze (Carnival Cruise Lines): Scheduled to set sail on Dec. 2 at 4 p.m. with its welcome event from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Celebrity Reflection (Celebrity Cruises): Scheduled to set sail on Dec. 5 at 4:30 p.m. with its welcome event from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Disney Wonder (Disney Cruise Line): Scheduled to set sail on Dec. 23 at 5 p.m. with its welcome event from 4 to 6 p.m.

For more information on PortMiami, visit www.miamidade.gov/portmiami

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