Construction workers building the world's largest single-ship cruise terminal have hoisted into place one of the world's largest tilt wall sections - a 324,000-pound concrete section that will serve as the main entrance for Cruise Terminal 18 at Port Everglades.

The 45-foot wide and 57.6-foot tall wall section, which is shaped with a louver to provide an overhang for guests and natural lighting inside the building, was lifted from its mold by two cranes moving in unison - slowly and carefully. The tilt panels are formed and cast on site. At 162 tons, the wall section weighs as much as 31 adult male African elephants (of average weight) or one Boeing 747.

Florida-based Tilt-Con Corporation constructed the wall section, which is estimated to be the second heaviest tilt wall in the world. The fifth heaviest tilt wall, at 300,000 pounds, is also a section of Cruise Terminal 18.

The expansion and renovation of Cruise Terminal 18 is the centerpiece of preparations underway at Port Everglades for the arrival of Royal Caribbean International's 5,400-passenger Oasis-class ships, which will be the largest cruise ships in the world. When completed in November 2009, Cruise Terminal 18 will be expanded from 67,500 square feet to a total of 240,000 square feet, which will make it the largest cruise terminal in the world built to serve a single ship.

The contractor is Hewett-Kier Construction Inc. and the architect is Bermello Ajamil & Partners, Inc.

Broward County's Port Everglades is poised to become the world's top cruise port by 2011 with Royal Caribbean International homeporting its two new 5,400-passenger Oasis-class vessels at the Port, which is located in the Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, Florida area. Each Oasis-class ship is projected to generate approximately 584,000 passenger movements annually at Port Everglades. The first of the 220,000-gross-registered-ton ships, Oasis of the Seas, is scheduled to begin sailing year-round from Port Everglades this fall, with the second sister-ship, Allure of the Seas, beginning year-round sailings one year later.

Port Everglades is the cruise ship capital of the world with more than 3 million passengers annually and more homeported cruise ships than any cruise port worldwide. Fourteen cruise lines sail from the South Florida seaport including: Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruise Lines, Cunard Line, Discovery Cruises, Holland America Line, Imperial Majesty Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, The Yachts of Seabourn, and Silversea Cruises.

The Port's ever-expanding fleet of cruise ships provides guests with an array of cruise vacation choices from the sunny Greater Fort Lauderdale area including everything from sampler-size day cruises to around-the-world cruises. Details on the latest cruise offerings are available on the Internet at www.broward.org/port.