The seaside city of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is more than just a spring break destination. The nightlife is certainly pumping, and the beaches often full of good-looking young (and old) people, but there is another level to this famous city. Dig a little deeper and you'll find the three fascinating historic districts, gondola rides on the canals, buzzing art and dining scenes, a fantastic beachfront promenade and more.
No stranger to cruise ships, Fort Lauderdale makes an excellent starting point for a cruise holiday. The south of Florida is close to some of the most favoured cruising waters in North America, and the sun and sand of the city's beaches will get you in the holiday mood before you even cast off.
Fort Lauderdale cruise lines and destinations
The advantage of cruising from a major port like the one at Fort Lauderdale is that there are many options to suit the tastes of any cruise lover. Royal Caribbean ships make up many of the departures, but you can also board a cruise with Princess, Celebrity, P&O, Carnival or Holland America. There are some smaller boutique lines such as Seabourn sailing from the city too.
The primary destinations for cruises out of Fort Lauderdale are of course the beautiful, tropical Caribbean islands. Short cruises passing Miami, heading to the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are a common feature for many lines, as well as classic Western Caribbean itineraries taking in a range of places including Jamaica, Mexico and more. Eastern Caribbean cruises head a little further afield to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, while the more extensive and longer itineraries include many island nations in the Southern Caribbean, cruising right down to the Netherlands Antilles off the coast of Venezuela. Panama Canal transit cruises also depart Fort Lauderdale on occasion.
Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port
Ships depart from Port Everglades, which boasts more homeported ships than any other cruise facility in the world. It is a modern, convenient place to start your cruise, very close to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. There are nine air-conditioned terminals, parking and drop-off areas including cell phone waiting lots, snack machines, bathrooms and comfortable seating.
The port complex can be accessed via a short taxi ride from downtown or the airport, and also by local buses which stop at the NorthPort section. There is vehicle-to-ship porter services for baggage, and shuttle buses for the more distant terminals.