The World City Corporation has selected Port Canaveral as the homeport for the long-awaited Phoenix World City. The 250,000-ton vessel will accommodate 5,600 passengers and a crew of 2,000.
According to a statement released by Port Canaveral, the decision to homeport there was based on several factors, including the growth pattern of the Central Florida area; World City's opportunity to be involved from start to finish in the design of the facilities to serve the ship and the seaport to airport infrastructure to handle the ship; and the growth and expansion potential of the Orlando Airport, which will serve as the gateway to the port.
The Phoenix would be developed as an integral part of a major land-based development project within Port Canaveral and along a projected 45-mile transportation corridor extending from the Orlando airport to Port Canaveral. Plans call for 100 acres of Port Canaveral to be converted into a commercial and resort complex featuring hotels, a convention center, festive retail marketplace and a World Space Center office building and exhibition center.
The Phoenix has been in the planning stages since 1984 and construction seemed imminent at several times; at one time with a combination of three German shipyards; at another time with Japanese yards. Each time it appeared that the company was unable to secure complete financing. While initial cost estimates were around $800 million, present estimates say the ship would cost at least $1.5 billion to build.