Caribbean Port Of Departure - Port Canaveral

1 Introducing Port Canaveral

On one of the barrier islands forming the Atlantic coast of Florida, midway between Jacksonville and Miami, lies Cape Canaveral. The city is bordered southwards by Cocoa Beach, northwards by Port Canaveral, on the west by the Banana River and on the east by the Atlantic.

From long ago this perilous part of the shoreline was respected by seamen, who named the headland Cape Canaveral. Due to the dangers to boats, the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse was constructed in 1846, allowing ships to sail safely around the Cape. In the early 20th century a small settlement based on fishing was founded a short way from the south of Cape Canaveral. The town was given the name Artesia. In the 1930s, half-a-mile south from Artesia, a number of journalists invested in a tranche of land naming their proposeddevelopment Journalista. This section eventually turned into the area called Avon-by-the-Sea.

In WWII two naval air bases were built on the coast of Florida, one of which was located at the Cape. After World War 2 the USAF, looking for a peninsula extending into the ocean to make a secure rocket launch site, selected the Cape. The new influx of people resulted in a building rush on the area south of the base, and in the early 1950s Avon-by-the-Sea and Artesia merged to form the city of Cape Canaveral. The construction of a deep-harbor facility at Port Canaveral commenced in 1951, and was completed by 1953. The docks managed the delivery of large seaborne components.

The theme parks of Florida are a huge attraction, and in the 1970s Port Canaveral was first utilized by cruise ships as a port-of-call close to Orlando. During the next decade, Premier Cruises and Carnival Cruises operated ships from Port Canaveral, running cruise vacations to Freeport from newly constructed cruise ship facilities. In the 1990s Disney cruises started running cruises from Port Canaveral, from the new specially built terminal 8. Two more new cruise terminal building were also constructed during this decade.

Today more than a million people depart on their cruise voyage from Port Canaveral every year. Disney and Carnival now have competition from Royal Caribbean and NCL at the port.


2 Port Canaveral

Port Canaveral contains several cruise terminals, though only 3 are regularly used for cruise ships. These are terminals 5, 8 and 10 which are sited on the north west shore of the port. Terminal 2 docks a gambling cruise ship. Cruise terminals 3 and 4 are seldom used.

Terminals 5, 8 and 10
Cruise terminal buildings 5, 8 and 10 are located on the A or north east side, next to Charles M Rowland Drive. These modern terminals are able to processing 3000 plus passengers, and have large quays to berth the new super sized ships.

Cruise Terminal 5 is a stylish complex, with a 30ft high hall filled with verdant greenery and tumbling waterfalls. Embarking passengers are processed on the top storey, disembarking cruisers on the bottom.

Cruise Terminal 8 was constructed for Disney Cruise Line, and is an appealing art-nouveau style building with an impressive 80 ft high glass hall.

Cruise Terminal 10 features a 3 layered passenger embarking/disembarking system, and completely automated baggage handling.

Each cruise terminal provides the necessary facilities such as ATMs, cab rank, pay phones, restrooms, vending machines and check-in desks. Next to each terminal building stands a dedicated parking lot

Port Canaveral's official website is at Port Canaveral Port Authority.

Cruises on offer feature the Eastern Caribbean (St Thomas, San Juan and St Maarten), the Western Caribbean (Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Roatan and Belize), or the Bahamas (Nassau and Freeport). Extended cruises are on offer, such as transatlantic cruises. For a guide to cruises available see cruises from Port Canaveral.


3 Out And About In Port Canaveral

Jetty Park
Jetty Park is a attractive Atlantic facing park which offers a beach, bait and tackle shop, a playground, pavilions and campervan hookups. A hit with both walkers and fishermen is the pier, which offers close-up views of ships entering/exiting Port Canaveral, and excellent fishing for mullet, tarpon and common jacks. The clean sandy ocean-facing beach offers several facilities including convenient parking, year-round lifeguards, restrooms and showers. The lively Cove Waterfront area situated between the port and the park has restaurants, bars and shops. The park is managed by the Port Authority, and is positioned to the south coast of the port’s main channel.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
The Kennedy Space Center is the base of NASA’s activities and served as the launch site for those famous landing on the moon Apollo missions. At the Center you can see a movie at the IMAX center, enjoy the Shuttle Launch Experience, go to the LC39 Observation Gantry and the Apollo Center and discover all about the future of space exploration at the Exploration Space exhibition. The Center is around 10 miles northwards from Port Canaveral.

Astronaut Hall of Fame
The Astronaut Hall of Fame honors American astronauts. Tour a fascinating collection including space suits, a realistic astronaut training simulator, the Sigma 7 Mercury rocket and the Science On A Sphere exhibition. The Hall of Fame is only 4 miles westwards from the Space Center.

Cocoa Beach Pier
Originally built in 1962 Cocoa Beach Pier is among the best-known spots on the Space coast. The pier is home to 5 restaurants, souvenir shops, occasional live street entertainment and 4 bars. The beach by the pier has all year life guards, showers, restrooms and beach-hire concessions. Cocoa Beach is just 5 miles south of the port.

Orlando Amusement Parks
Drive west from Port Canaveral on Martin Andersen Beachline Expressway to reach fabulous attractions like Universal Studios, Sea World of Florida, Walt Disney World and EPCOT all less than an hour’s car drive away.

4 Traveling To Port Canaveral

By Car
North Cruise Terminals
Approach Port Canaveral on Hwy 528, go across Merritt Island, and leave at the sign marked A Cruise Terminals joining SR 401 North. Drive 1 mile on SR 401 North and leave at the sign marked for the cruiselines.
South Cruise Terminals
Approach Port Canaveral on Hwy 528 and leave at the sign labeled B Cruise Terminals. Then turn left under the bridge onto George King Boulevard. Continue for 1 mile. Next follow signs to correct cruise terminal.

By Air
Orlando International Airport
Orlando International Airport, positioned on the southern region of Orlando, is roughly 45 miles west of Port Canaveral. A transfer can be arranged by shuttle bus or cab.
Melbourne International Airport
Melbourne International Airport is around half-an-hour’s drive south from Port Canaveral. A transfer is possible by cab or shuttle.

5 Other Useful Information

Currency USD
Language English

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