Porthole Cruise Magazine names Port Everglades for 2011 award

Port Everglades, Florida (January 27, 2011) - Broward County's Port Everglades has been selected for the third consecutive year as the Best U.S. Homeport by Porthole Cruise Magazine, a world-class leading cruise travel magazine.

The editors of Porthole Cruise Magazine, a monthly consumer resource publication, annually pick the best in cruise itineraries, destinations, attractions, and excursions. The winners for the 2011 Editor-in-Chief Awards are revealed in its January/February 2011 issue, and will be presenting the award to Port Everglades Director Phil Allen during the Cruise Shipping Miami Convention (formerly Seatrade) in March.

"Port Everglades has unrivaled cruise offerings that range from around the world cruises, extended transatlantic and trans-canal adventures, to traditional seven-night Caribbean vacations, plus mini-day trips to the Bahamas," said Bill Panoff, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief for Porthole Cruise Magazine. "The Port's cruise fleet remains one of the finest, with many new ships making their debut there year after year. Whether you're a first-time cruiser or a veteran sailor of the seas, Port Everglades provides the widest selection of any port."

A "homeport" is a seaport from which a cruise ship loads passengers and begins its itinerary, and to which it returns to debark passengers upon conclusion of the voyage. Most ports around the world are "ports-of-call," which means that cruise ships begin at one port and visit another, for a short time, but does not return.

The award is timely, as Port Everglades just announced a record 25 percent increase in cruise travel during the first quarter of fiscal year 2011 (October through December 2010) over the same time period last year. Since welcoming its first cruise ship in 1931, PortEverglades has grown to become the second largest cruise port in the world, with nearly 3.7 million passengers passing through the Port in 2010, and also hosts more ships, more cruise lines, more sailings, and more vacation itineraries than any other cruise port in the world.

"This is a great honor to accept the award for being the Best U.S. Homeport," Port Everglades Director Phil Allen said. "We are pleased to have a great vacation destination with Port Everglades in Broward County. The Port is a vital element of the local economy and, near the fastest growing airport in the nation, serves as South Florida's gateway to global cruise vacations. The Greater Fort Lauderdale community benefits greatly from the increased tourism as cruise passengers passing through Port Everglades provide a continuous market of travelers who take advantage of the area's hotels, restaurants, retail stores, and attractions." 

Port Everglades' cruise numbers are expected to increase over the next few years with Royal Caribbean Line's Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, the largest cruise ships in the world sailing every Saturday and Sunday year-round each accommodating 5,400 passengers. A new 15-year agreement with Carnival Cruise Lines will also increase capacity and guarantee 25.5 million cruise passenger moves over the term of the contract.

Port Everglades is the cruise ship capital of the world with more than 3.8 million passengers expected during 2011 and more homeported cruise ships than any cruise port worldwide. Fourteen cruise lines and more than 50 cruise ships sail from the South Florida seaport including: Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Cunard Line, Discovery Cruises, Holland America Line, ISE (Semester at Sea), MSC Cruises, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, ResidenSea, Royal Caribbean International, Silversea Cruises, and Seabourn Cruises. The Port's ever-expanding fleet of cruise ships provides guests 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. Port Everglades, where the best cruise ships launch and the greatest getaways begin.

Details on the latest cruise offerings are available on the Internet at http://www.porteverglades.net/. For more information on Porthole Cruise Magazine, go to http://www.porthole.com/.