World’s largest cruise ship to homeport in Florida

The following is the text of a press release from Royal Caribbean International:
(FORT LAUDERDALE) — Broward County’s Port Everglades will see significant economic and tourism growth with confirmation today that Royal Caribbean International, a cruise brand owned and operated by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE/OSX: RCL), will be homeporting its two new 5,400-passenger “Project Genesis” vessels in Greater Fort Lauderdale. The agreement between Royal Caribbean and Broward County is expected to be finalized by the cruise line company’s Board of Directors and the Broward County Commission on or before December 19, 2007.

Royal Caribbean’s Project Genesis ships will be the largest cruise ships ever constructed. The first of the 220,000-gross-registered-ton ships is scheduled to begin sailing year-round from Port Everglades in late 2009, with the second sister ship to begin year-round sailings one year later. Each Project Genesis ship, being constructed at Aker Yards in Turku, Finland, is projected to generate approximately 584,000 in passenger traffic annually at Port Everglades.

“We look forward to growing our outstanding relationship with Port Everglades,” said Adam Goldstein, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “It’s very exciting to see our plans come together for these two amazing ships. The bold designs, daring innovations and technological advancements planned for these ships will thrill our loyal guests and help generate new devotees to our brand.”

As part of the agreement, Royal Caribbean will reimburse up to $37.4 million in capital expenditures for expansion and related infrastructure needs of Terminal 18, which is already one of the largest cruise passenger terminals worldwide. Along with sister brands Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises, Royal Caribbean International will generate approximately 17 million in passenger volume (embarking and disembarking) at Port Everglades during the first 10-year term of the contract.

“Royal Caribbean has achieved great success with its year-round sailing schedule at Port Everglades,” said Port Everglades Director Phillip C. Allen. “Now we can expect an average of 3.6 times more Royal Caribbean passengers, which is phenomenal.”

An economic impact study conducted by Martin and Associates as part of the Port Everglades Master/Vision Plan, projects that homeporting the Genesis ships at Port Everglades will create more than 3,844 jobs, generate $172 million in personal income and $15.9 million state and local taxes. In addition, the analysis anticipates that more than 858 new construction jobs will be created during Terminal 18 expansion.

At 40 ships, more cruise ships are homeported at Port Everglades than any other port worldwide with an array of cruise vacation choices from the sunny Greater Fort Lauderdale area including everything from sampler-size day cruises to around-the-world cruises. Details on the latest cruise offerings are available on the Internet at

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 21 ships currently in service and three under construction. The line also offers unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, South America and New Zealand through its cruisetour division.

By Professional Mariner Staff