Brevard County

Cruise revenue returning to Port Canaveral with sailing numbers increasing

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. — For the first time in months, cruise revenue is trickling back into Port Canaveral.

Eleven ships have departed the port with paying passengers since July 31, and dozens more are scheduled to sail in the weeks ahead.

READ: Federal court lifts CDC rules for Florida-based cruise ships

Capt. John Murray, CEO of the Canaveral Port Authority, said the ships leaving the port now are sailing at 30 to 75% of their normal capacity.

Other ships aren’t back in operation just yet, like the Disney Fantasy, which won’t set sail with paying passengers until Sept. 11.

READ: The Disney Dream embarks on test voyage, paving the way for cruise industry return

“While we have revenue voyages now, we’re still not out of the woods,” Murray said. “We’re still in a distressed situation in the port. We haven’t had any cruise revenue for nearly 17 months now.”

In that time, the port saw an estimated revenue loss of more than $113 million.

READ: Disney Cruise Line unveils new dinner adventure ‘Avengers: Quantum Encounter’

The focus is now on the next fiscal year, with a phased return to cruising and a projected $85 million in cruise revenue.

“We have an exciting year ahead of us, and all we need to keep this delta variant from shutting anything down,” Murray said.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.