Broward County's Port Everglades experienced its highest multi-day cruise passenger count ever with a record 17 percent growth this past year, and Port officials expect the trend to continue in 2011.

More than 3.3 million multi-day cruise guests sailed to and from Port Everglades during fiscal year 2010 (October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010) compared to 2.8 million in FY2009. The number of multi-day passengers is expected to climb another 6 percent to 3.5 million in FY2011 with the addition of Royal Caribbean International's second 5,400-passenger Oasis-class cruise ship, Allure of the Seas, sailing every Sunday from Port Everglades beginning in December 2010 and a new long-term agreement with Carnival Corporation that is expected to bring 25.5 million cruise passengers to the Port over the next 15 years.

"Our cruise line customers are showing that they appreciate our commitment to service and quality facilities by committing more of their ships to Port Everglades," says Port Everglades Director Phil Allen. "By 2012 we expect to be the Number One cruise port in the world once both Oasis-class ships are sailing for a full year and with our new agreement with Carnival."

Carnival Corporation signed one of its largest passenger terminal use agreements with the Broward County Board of County Commissioners in April 2010, committing 25.5 million passenger movements (embarking and disembarking) to Port Everglades over the next 15 years. The agreement between Carnival, the world's largest cruise company, and Broward County will potentially produce half-a-billion dollars in Port revenue.

Port Everglades also has a long-term agreement with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. that is expected to generate more than 18 million passenger movements at Port Everglades during the first 10-year term of the contract, which began in December 2007.

"There has been a significant shift in our cruise passenger market share in the past decade with the cruise lines offering more variety in itineraries and the length of cruise vacations. In addition, the growth in cruise passengers is providing an extremely strong boost to our local hotel markets," says Carlos Buqueras, Port Everglades Director of Business Development.