Port Everglades has released a study that shows that sixty-two percent of the cruise passengers surveyed stayed at least one night prior to their cruise vacation, staying an average of 3.4 nights, and 21 percent planned to stay an average of 2.6 nights after their cruise.
"This study validates what we have long known - that our local economy benefits from the cruise industry. But, we are seeing that hoteliers are taking advantage of the opportunities that having a cruise port in their backyard offers," said CEO and Port Director Steven Cernak. "Just look at the number of new hotels that have opened around Port Everglades in recent years and the creative pre- and post-cruise vacation packages offered on Sunny.org in the Cruise & Play section.”
Expenditures before and after the cruise were nearly identical. However, guests planned to spend more money on land tours after the cruise than before the cruise -- $80 spent on land tours before the cruise and $133 to be spent on land tours after the cruise.
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau encourages pre- and post-cruise vacation stays through its "Cruise & Play" section on the sunny.org website. The "Cruise & Play" section features as list of hotels offering shuttle service to and from the cruise port and airport, as well as deals on hotels, attractions and special discounts available just by showing your cruise card or cruise documents.
In addition, travel agents have the opportunity to become certified Greater Fort Lauderdale experts with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Specialist program, offered in conjunction with Travel Agent Academy.
Another benefit to cruising from Port Everglades includes the Port's proximity to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). More than 21 percent of the cruise guests surveyed said that they came directly from FLL, and an overwhelming majority (66 percent) said they selected FLL based on its close proximity to the Port.
FLL is located within two miles of Port Everglades and is accessible by taxi, shuttle or bus transfer from the cruise line. The Port is also within 30 miles of Miami International Airport (MIA), which is an approximate 40-minute drive.
Port Everglades is consistently ranked as one of the three busiest cruise ports in the world, with more than 3.7 million passengers in 2015. Nine cruise lines, one ferry and more than 40 cruise ships sail from the South Florida port.