Port Everglades Celebrates 15 Millionth Daily Cruise Passenger

Port Everglades and its daily cruise operators, Discovery Cruise Line and SeaEscape, celebrated a milestone today as the 15 millionth daily cruise passengers sailed on a one-day cruise from the South Florida port.

Shirley and Oscar Lotka of Delray Beach, FL, were showered with balloons and awarded free VIP cruises aboard SeaEscape and aboard a future cruise with Discovery.

"We love SeaEscape and sail often.  We were on Discovery several years ago and had fun too.  We have a lot of fun on these short cruises," says Shirley Lotka.

Discovery General Manager Hanns Hahn and SeaEscape Senior Vice President Judith Jarvis were on site to award the winning 15 millionth daily cruise passengers with their cruise packages.  The Lotka's SeaEscape cruise today included an upgrade to one of the luxury suites on the Island Adventure, a complimentary cruise for their future enjoyment, and they received an overflowing basket of SeaEscape gifts.   On a future date, the Lotka's will sail complimentary aboard Discovery Sun on a "Discovery Plus" V.I.P. package that includes two nights at an all-inclusive resort in the Bahamas.

More than 775,000 daily passengers (including embarking and disembarking) sail from Port Everglades annually, generating direct revenue of $3.5 million annually for the Port and more than $5 million annually for vendors located in the Port that provide services such fuel, tugs and harbor pilots.  Each of the daily cruise lines employ approximately 400 people ranging from ship captains, stewards, engineers and entertainers aboard their ships to those who work on shore in sales, reservations, marketing and accounting.  In addition, Discovery and SeaEscape spend in excess of $40 million annually on food, supplies and other goods and services that are purchased from companies and individuals in Broward County.  And more than 40,000 Bahamian passengers arrive aboard Discovery annually to spend $20 million a year in local stores, restaurants and shopping malls.

"Our daily cruise operators make a significant economic contribution to our local community," says Port Director Phillip C. Allen.  "Day cruises are a terrific entertainment venue and a convenient way for would-be cruisers to test the waters before taking a longer cruise vacation."

Discovery sails at 8 a.m. daily from Port Everglades to the Bahamas.  SeaEscape sails on mini-cruises to nowhere 14 times a week.  Brunch cruises depart at 11 a.m. and evening cruises depart at 7:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. on Sundays).  Both cruise lines feature Las Vegas-style casino gaming, fine dining, dancing and live entertainment.  For more information about Discover Cruise Line, go to www.discoverycruise.com.  For more information about SeaEscape, go to www.seaescape.com.

Port Everglades is located in the heart of Broward County at the east end of I-595.  As one of South Florida's leading economic engines, Port Everglades is the gateway for international trade and cruise vacations.  Port Everglades is one of the busiest cruise ports worldwide and the winter homeport for Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2.  It is among the fastest growing container ports in the United States, according to the PIERS import/export database.  And, Port Everglades is South Florida's main seaport for receiving petroleum products including, gasoline and jet fuel.  The Port Everglades Department is a self-supporting Enterprise Fund of Broward County government with operating revenues of approximately $105 million annually.  It does not rely on local tax dollars for operations. The Port provides more than 15,000 direct jobs and generates $2.87 billion in business activity and $879.5 million in personal income annually in Broward County.  

More information on Port Everglades, which is governed by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners, is available on the Internet at www.broward.org/port, e-mailing PortEverglades@broward.org, or by calling 954-523-3404.