Broward County’s Port Everglades completely remodeled its sixth cruise terminal in five years with $24 million worth of renovations and upgrades designed for greater efficiency and guest convenience.

Cruise Terminal 4 officially opened today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that also celebrated Broward 100, the County’s centennial year and commitment to the arts. The ceremony was attended by travel agents, elected officials and cruise line executives who toured the modernized cruise terminal and were entertained by grant recipients from Broward’s Cultural Division.

“We continuously re-invest in our facilities to keep pace with the today’s customer-service driven cruise industry, to provide our guests with a seamless boarding experience,” said Port Everglades Chief Executive and Port Director Steven Cernak. “Our goal when we reconfigured Cruise Terminal 4’s traffic pattern and updated the interior, was to make it easier for the cruise lines to process passengers while providing guests with a bright, comfortable experience.”

Port Everglades is one of the world’s leading cruise ports, this year exceeding 4 million passengers and ranking as the second busiest multi-day cruise port in the world.

“In total, Broward County’s cruise industry generates more than $1.68 billion in total economic activity annually,” said Broward County Vice Mayor Martin David Kiar. “Not only do cruise ships bring jobs and revenue to our Port, but they also bring guests who visit our hotels and resorts, and support the small businesses and attractions that are the lifeblood of our economy. The combination of a world-class seaport and an international airport in a popular vacation destination make Broward County a terrific choice for travelers.”

"Florida is far and away the largest cruise market in the world. Over 14 million revenue passengers a year cruise from Florida ports. Through partnered investments with federal and local government, and cruise industry commitments, FDOT and the state’s seaports will continue to support and grow Florida’s cruise business," said Richard Biter, Assistant Secretary for Intermodal Systems Development for the Florida Department of Transportation. "Port Everglades’ Terminal 4 renovation is the latest manifestation of this partnership. These public infrastructure investments create the foundation to support the private sector investments, and individual expenditures that create economic activity and prosperity for the citizens of Florida."

Improvements to the 140,000-square-foot Cruise Terminal 4, located in Fort Lauderdale, include:

  • Moving passenger drop-off from the east side of the terminal to the west side to separate the traffic from neighboring Cruise Terminal 2 and reduce traffic congestion in that area
  • Providing covered loading/drop-off areas as part of the ground transportation area
  • Adding 172 surface parking spaces at ground level adjacent to the ground transportation area
  • Replacing the single escalator and older elevators with two new escalators and two new elevators for improved passenger flow
  • Improving lighting and acoustics, and a high-efficiency air conditioning system
  • Installing 50 check-in counters to meet the demands of larger capacity cruise vessels
  • Updating with new restrooms
  • Adding an additional new loading bridge to expedite embark and debark processes
  •  Installing a prominent art piece by South Florida artist Xavier Cortada. Cortada’s work, entitled “Pelican Path” is a 4-foot by 40-foot ceramic mural that will be used to guide cruise guests from the arrival area and onto their ship.

In addition, the terminal’s many energy-efficient improvements will qualify the facility to become certified through Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) – a first for Port Everglades. LEED, a U.S. Green Building Council program, is a green building certification that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification.

Port Everglades’ next project for this terminal will be to lengthen the adjacent slip by 250 feet, for a total 1,150 feet of berth length to accommodate larger cruise ships. The $18 million slip extension is slated to be completed by the end of 2016.