Port Canaveral, once a sleepy little fishing harbor on Florida’s Space Coast’s, was recently named “Best North American Homeport” by Cruise Critic, the world’s leading cruise review site and online community. This honor was based in part on the port’s efforts to expand its facilities and promote Florida’s Space Coast area attractions for cruise passengers.

Port Canaveral has easy access from three airports, Orlando International, Orlando-Sanford, and Orlando Melbourne International, and is located within an hour of numerous attractions, making it simple for visitors to extend their stay before or after their cruise. Port Canaveral also offers a host of recreational activities, including a mile-and-a-half of bike paths, fishing charters, and of course, nearby beautiful beaches. Plans to add more retail and dining space make the port popular as a destination in and of itself. With more than 7,000 cruise passengers experiencing their Port of Call at Port Canaveral, the area is booming, offering a special something for everyone wanting to play on Florida's Space Coast.

Leaders at the port have been busy the past few years, completely overhauling Cruise Terminal 1, which opened last fall, as well as the massive renovations currently underway on Cruise Terminals 5 and 10. This year, the number of cruise ships that will call Port Canaveral home will increase to 10, including three mega-ships: Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, the Carnival Magic, and the Norwegian Epic.

It’s not all about cruising, though. Port Canaveral is an up-and-coming cargo hub as well. There are several projects in the works for the next five years including the Port Canaveral Container Terminal, on-dock rail connectivity, and harbor widening and deepening. They currently offer the largest cold storage facility on the East Coast and have acquired several distribution and warehousing sites that offer direct access to the seaport, major highways, and rail lines. 

The Canaveral Port Authority also recently joined the Green Marine environmental certification program with the aim of benchmarking current environmental performance and identifying ways to improve it. The Canaveral Port Authority already has several environmental projects in place, including creating artificial reef habitats, beach re-nourishment, water quality monitoring, and wildlife protection. They even have a children’s activity book called Marine Life available on their website for parents and teachers to download.

Florida’s Space Coast is proud to have Port Canaveral, which helps to make this area of Florida even better. If you will be in Port Canaveral to embark on your cruise vacation, how about adding a couple of days to explore the area? After all, your cruise vacation should start with a walk on the beach, right?