Carnival Cruise Line kicked off its first cruise in almost 16 months from PortMiami on Sunday (July 4) with the departure of Carnival Horizon, providing a significant boost to the local economy and the tens of thousands of jobs in South Florida that are supported by the cruise industry.
As Carnival points out in a release, Florida is number one in the nation in cruise embarkations with the cruise industry contributing more than $9 billion USD in direct purchases and responsible for over 159,000 jobs.
In Miami-Dade alone, cruise activity generates approximately $7 billion USD of spend and 40,000 jobs annually. Of the 437,000 cruise industry-supported jobs in the USA, nearly 37% are in Florida.
Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy, Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald and Carnival Brand Ambassador John Heald kicked off the festivities with a ribbon-cutting ceremony officially welcoming guests on board.
Prior to Duffy’s remarks, a moment of silence was held to honour those affected by the tragedy in Surfside.
“PortMiami is our number one homeport in terms of ships and passenger embarkations and today’s return to cruising with Carnival Horizon represents an important first step in getting our company back to business while infusing much-needed capital to the thousands of workers who rely on the cruise industry for their livelihood,” said Duffy. “The past year has been challenging to say the least and I wish to thank our state and local officials, PortMiami, and our business partners and suppliers for their incredible support and patience during this time.”
Carnival Horizon set sail on Sunday at 4 p.m. for a six-day cruise with stops in Amber Cove (Dominican Republic) and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay.
In addition to Carnival Horizon’s departure this afternoon, Carnival Vista departed Galveston yesterday, with Carnival Breeze departing from Galveston July 15 and Carnival Miracle kicking off the line’s Alaska season from Seattle July 27.
Mardi Gras, the line’s newest ship, sets sail from Port Canaveral July 31. Other ships in the Carnival fleet will begin service in August.
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