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Port Canaveral CEO Murray: Port Remains Flexible and Nimble

Capt John Murray

Captain John W. Murray, CEO of Port Canaveral, said in his state of the port address on Thursday that the Florida-based port remains flexible and nimble.

With the cruise industry’s shutdown in March, Murray said the port saw 80 percent of its revenue stream come to a stop in one day.

The response was quick from Port Canaveral, including deferred capital projects, immediate cost mitigation and significant workforce reductions.

Murray noted the port’s priorities have been to protect the health and safety employees; stabilize operations and ensure business continuity; and maintain the business, and that the port is ready to go, accommodating ships on a moment’s notice if necessary, with six cruise terminals available.

Without cruise ships calling at Port Canaveral, the region is expected to lose $1.2 billion in expenditures, 11,000 total jobs, $400 million in annual wages, and $31 million in state and local tax revenue.

“This industry is very very important to our success and very important to our survival,” Murray said.

One positive note was the completion of Cruise Terminal 3, which awaits the new Carnival Mardi Gras in February.

Added Robert “Bobby G” Giangrisostomi, vice president, cruise business development: “We’ve been doing everything we can to keep the business going and plan for the future.

“We've been working on MSC cruises for the past three years,” he said. "We've worked with their corporate office in Geneva, Switzerland with their staff in both Italy and London and their Fort Lauderdale office. Captain John and our team had virtual meetings with them during this pandemic and we're so thrilled to announce that MSC has added Port Canaveral as a homeport.”

While he called 2021 a transition year, the growth should return in 2022, Giangrisostomi said.

“We see fantastic growth for the future and look towards a very healthy (growth curve) with increased new products and new cruises out of Port Canaveral,” he added.

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