Thursday, December 18, 2008

NCL to Port of Miami: Let's Stay Together

The year was 1966. A future Cruise Diva was graduating from high school and Norwegian Caribbean Line began offering a new vacation concept—one week Caribbean cruises from the then-obscure Port of Miami. How things have changed. Today, Norwegian Caribbean Line is known as Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and the Port of Miami is among America’s busiest sea ports and recognized throughout the world as the Cruise Capital of the World.

With all that history between them, it came as a surprise to learn there has never been a long-term agreement between the Port of Miami and NCL since the company began operating from the Port as the first Caribbean cruise line 42 years ago. That changed this week as the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners approved a 10-year berthing agreement with Norwegian Cruise Line. The agreement gives NCL priority access to two large-ship berths at Terminals B and C. In return, NCL will guarantee a minimum of $98 million in port fees over the term of the agreement. In addition, the Port is making a $10 million investment in upgrades to the terminals, including a new gangway and general improvements to make the guest experience more enjoyable and efficient. The agreement takes effect immediately and renovations to Terminals B and C are expected to continue throughout the next 12-18 months.

“With berthing space becoming increasingly scarce and our recent extension of Norwegian Sky’s deployment in Miami year-round, we are pleased to have reached this agreement with the Port of Miami to guarantee NCL access to some of the last remaining large ship berths,” said Kevin Sheehan, NCL’s president and CEO. “The Port of Miami has been a long-term partner of ours and we see the Port as a vital part of our future.”

From 1966 to today... Oh yes, I've given away my age. Cruise Diva's not a young chick anymore. However, NCL has one of the youngest fleets of cruise ships at sea. For a profile of Norwegian Cruise Line, visit

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