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Port Canaveral officials report record-breaking year in annual State of the Port presentation

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. — Canaveral Port Authority officials reviewed the accomplishments of 2023 during their annual State of the Port presentation Wednesday.

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This year, Port Canaveral saw more cruise passengers, cargo business and revenue than ever before.

However, officials say more passengers and growing demands on other port business also means they’ll be facing some new challenges.

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Port Canaveral saw a record 6.8. Million cruise passengers last fiscal year, and they’re still coming.

They anticipate another 7-million cruise passengers will pass through the port next year.

“Honestly, it’s hassle-free,” cruise passenger Viola Rofail said of the experience. “It’s such a great experience with kids especially. I hate flying, going in the airport with kids.”

All the cruise traffic buoyed the port to $158-million in cruise revenue last year.

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The port saw another $21-million in cargo traffic revenue.

Projections for 2024 are also strong. Although the port isn’t anticipating a major bump in cruise revenue, it is expecting more passengers to move through the port, roughly 7.3-million of them.

The port is also navigating its growing cargo and space operations, “optimizing our berth so we can handle space operations and cargo as the launch cadence increases and other players enter the market,” Canaveral Port Authority CEO John Murray said during the presentation.

According to Murray, Port Canaveral is committed to supporting the space industry, but there’s also a need to identify maritime options beyond Port Canaveral.

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For months, the port has been involved with the Space Florida Wharf study.

Funded by the Florida Department of Transportation, the study will look at commercial space maritime options beyond the port.

Recommendations are anticipated before the end of this year.

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