The Tampa Port Authority is pleased to report that last Sunday, November 11 was a record-breaking day for cruise passenger throughput, when an estimated 13,104 passengers embarked and disembarked on three cruise ships, making it the single busiest day on record.

Launching the start of another busy winter cruise season, the Port of Tampa hosted three home ported ships on this record-setting date: Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Legend, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Dawn, and Royal Caribbean International’s Jewel of the Seas.

The Port also reported a record annual passenger throughput count of 974,259 for its fiscal year 2012 which ended September 30.

Cruise lines have continued to see Tampa as a strong market, reflected in the arrival of several upgraded vessel deployments over the last two years.  Carnival Cruise Line home ports two ships year-round in Tampa, Carnival Legend and Carnival Paradise; while the busy winter season sees home ported vessels from Royal Caribbean - Jewel of the Seas; Norwegian Cruise Line - Norwegian Dawn (most recently replacing Norwegian Star); and Holland America Line - Ryndam.  This year also marks the thirtieth consecutive year that Holland America Line has used Tampa as a home port.

Tampa cruise passengers enjoy the convenience of easy highway access from across the southeastern US, close proximity to one of the nation’s best airports, excellent nearby options for shore-side entertainment, and abundant parking just steps away from the cruise terminals.  Last year’s refurbishments to two of the terminals also have helped enhance the overall cruise experience.

“This is a very exciting time for us at the Port as we continue to enjoy a successful cruise business, thanks to positive guest experiences and a continued rise in the popularity of Tampa as a home port for the cruise lines,” Charles Klug, Tampa’s interim port director and chief executive, said.