Port Everglades opened its upgraded Cruise Terminal 4 building during a Broward County-themed ceremony on 8 January.
Cruise Terminal 4, which underwent a US$24 million refurbishment, is the sixth cruise facility that Port Everglades has remodelled in the past five years.
It was opened during a ribbon-cutting ceremony that also celebrated Broward 100, the county’s centennial year and commitment to the arts. Attended by travel agents, elected officials and cruise line executives, the ceremony included a tour of the modernised terminal and performances by grant recipients from Broward’s Cultural Division.
“We continuously reinvest in our facilities to keep pace with the today’s customer-service driven cruise industry, to provide our guests with a seamless boarding experience,” said Steven Cernak, Port Everglades chief executive and port director. “Our goal when we reconfigured Cruise Terminal 4’s traffic pattern and updated the interior, was to make it easier for the cruise lines to process passengers while providing guests with a bright, comfortable experience.”
Port Everglades made several significant improvements to the 140,000 sq ft Cruise Terminal 4, located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This includes the installation of 50 check-in counters, which will help the port to meet the demands of larger capacity cruise vessels; improved lighting and acoustics, a new high-efficiency HVAC system, and updated toilet facilities. The single escalator and older elevators have also been replaced with two escalators and two elevators in an effort to improve passenger flow.
Improvements have also taken place outside the terminal, including a new passenger loading bridge on the pier. The passenger drop-off area has been moved from the east side of the terminal to the west side, reducing congestion by separating it from the traffic arriving at the neighbouring Cruise Terminal 2. A cover has also been added to the new loading/drop off area, while the port has added 172 new parking spaces adjacent to the ground transportation area.
South Florida artist Xavier Cortada has also produced ‘Pelican Path, a large ceramic mural that will be used to guide cruise guests from the arrival area and onto their ship.
Many of the terminal’s energy-efficient improvements will qualify the facility to become certified through the US Green Building Council programme
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – a first for Port Everglades.
Port Everglades’ next project for this terminal will be to lengthen the adjacent slip by 250 feet, for a total 1,150 feet of berth length to accommodate larger cruise ships. The US$18 million slip extension is slated to be completed by the end of 2016.
“In total, Broward County’s cruise industry generates more than US$1.68 billion in total economic activity annually,” said Broward County Vice Mayor Martin David Kiar. “Not only do cruise ships bring jobs and revenue to our port, but they also bring guests who visit our hotels and resorts, and support the small businesses and attractions that are the lifeblood of our economy. The combination of a world-class seaport and an international airport in a popular vacation destination make Broward County a terrific choice for travellers.”