Caribbean Port Of Departure - Tampa, USA
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1 Introducing Tampa

Tampa is positioned at the center of the coastline of Florida at the head of a large bay protected by the Pinellas peninsula.

Tampa can trace its origins back to the small outpost of Fort Brooke, founded by the United States Army in 1824 on the coast of Tampa bay to help defend the strategic harbor. The new village underwent several catastrophes, including a massive tidal surge that devastated large parts of the village, war between the army and the Seminoles and yellow fever epidemics.

Then the 1880s heralded a incredible transformation when Henry B Plant constructed a railroad through the town. The railroad ended at the coastline at Port Tampa. Following the completion of the railroad, Henry B Plant founded a ferry ship service ferrying passengers, cargo and post between Havana, Cuba and Port Tampa. Plant’s schemes did not end with the railroad and ferry company, for he then started with a project to built a number of grand hotels in the region, such as the famous Tampa Bay Hotel in Tampa.

The Cuban entrepreneur Don Vincente Martinez Ybor was the next person to have a large influence on the rise of Tampa, when in 1885 he established a large cigar-making factory close to the city center. The cigar business grew rapidly, in part due to the fact it was perfectly sited between the markets of the USA and the imports of tobacco via Port Tampa.

Around the same time rich phosphate rich clays were discovered nearby, leading to a huge rise is mining and shipping activity.

Tampa's rise carried on through the 20th century, and today the city has evolved into a modern urban conurbation busy with enterprise and commerce.

Tampa’s ports have been very influential on the city’s economy right from the 19th century. There are now two main ports, as the Port Of Tampa rose as an alternative to Port Tampa in 1918 when a channel was dredged to the docks at Tampa city. Tampa was a thriving port for foot passengers in the 1870s through 1890s but passenger operations fell through the next century. But it was not until the 1980s when cruises started, with Regency Cruises and Holland America both coming to the Port of Tampa to offer cruises to the Caribbean. From 1993 Carnival also homeported a ship at Tampa, the Tropicale.

2 The Port Of Tampa

Tampa boasts 3 cruise terminals - popular cruise terminals 2 and 3, and the less used cruise terminal 6.

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Cruise Terminal 2

Cruise Terminal 2 was inaugurated in 1998 as part of a 70-acre, city center, coastline, multi-purpose scheme. Facilities available include luggage trolleys, a snack bar, restrooms, customs and cab rank. The cruise terminal has only one mooring. Cruise Terminal 2 hosts Carnival. Car Parking is located directly across Channelside Drive at the Channelside multi-level car park. Valet services are available.

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Cruise Terminal 3

The Port of Tampa added to their cruise operation with the building of the modern Cruise Terminal 3 in 2002. Services include taxi rank, restrooms, customs, guest lounge and luggage trolleys. The terminal offers a single berth. Terminal 3 is home to Holland America Line, NCL and Royal Caribbean. Car parking is located directly across Channelside Drive at the Channelside multi-level car lot. Valet services are available.

Cruise Terminal 6

Cruise Terminal 6 is located on the west shore of Ybor channel. Cruise Terminal 6 is employed as an overflow terminal. The cruise terminal services a single cruise ship berth. Parking is available onsite.

See cruises from Tampa for a complete listing of cruises available.

See the port authority see Port Of Tampa.

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3 Out And About In Tampa

Tampa’s Riverwalk
Enjoy the sights of the city and views across the Garrison channel by following the Tampa Riverwalk. As the path meanders along the waterside it visits many features including The Florida Aquarium, Cruise Ship Terminal 2, Tampa Bay History Center, Fort Brooke Park, Teco Line Streetcar, MacDill Park, Florida Museum Of Photographic Arts, Kiley Gardens, Glazier's Children’s Museum and the Tampa Museum of Art.

Florida Aquarium
Everyone will marvel at the myriad of sea creatures on show at the Florida Aquarium. Favorite exhibits include Wetlands, Aquariumania, Explore A Shore, Dragons Down Under and Bays and Beaches. There are also special activities on offer such as Swim with Fish and Penguins - Backstage Pass. The Aquarium is located next to cruise terminal 3.

Ybor City State Museum
With its Cuban roots Ybor City is one of two National Historic Landmark Districts in Florida. Ybor City’s wrought-iron balustrades, red-brick buildings and narrow streets offer an insight into old-world history. Several stops of the historic Teco streetcar are close by the cruise port and can carry you to Ybor.

Henry B Plant Museum
Henry B Plant commissioned the majestic Tampa Bay hotel as a destination resort for tourists to Tampa. It’s sumptuously made to look like a Arabian palace, with finishing touches of Victorian design. Nowadays the hotel building is occupied by the University of Tampa, but it also houses the fascinating Henry B Plant Museum, which chronicles the life of the super achieving entrepreneur.

4 Traveling To The Tampa Cruise Ports

By Air
Tampa International Airport is positioned around eight miles away from the cruise port. Catching a taxi is an easy to transfer from airport to cruise port.

By Car
From Orlando
Take Interstate-4 westwards to exit 1, signed Ybor City. GoTravel southwards on 21st Street and turn right on Adamo Drive then turn left onto Channelside Drive. For cruise terminal 6 make a left onto McKay Street to get to the parking area directly at the cruise terminal. For cruise terminals 2 and 3 continue for about three-quarters of a mile south along Channelside Drive. The long term parking building is sited on the right of the street opposite the Florida Aquarium.

From St Petersburg
Follow I-275 east. Join I-4. Continue along Interstate-4 eastwards to exit 1 , signed Port Of Tampa/Ybor City. Continue south on 21st Street and make a right on Adamo Drive, signed Cruise Terminals 2 Thru 6 Hwy 60 then head left onto Channelside Drive. For cruise terminal 6 make a left onto McKay Street to access the parking area directly at the terminal. For cruise terminals 2 and 3 continue for about three-quarters of a mile south along Channelside Drive. The long term parking garage is on the right of the street across from the Florida Aquarium.

From Tampa International Airport
Exit the airport and follow signage to Interstate-275 North. Join I-4. Take Interstate-4 east to exit 1 . Head south on 21st Street then make a right on Adamo Drive, signed Cruise Terminals 2 Thru 6 Hwy 60 then head left onto Channelside Drive For cruise terminal 6 turn left onto McKay Street to access the parking lot next to the terminal. For cruise terminals 2 and 3 continue for about three-quarters of a mile southwards on Channelside Drive. The Channelside parking lot is sited on the right of the street just across from the Florida Aquarium.

5 Other Information

Currency USD
Language English
Timezone EST/EDT

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