The two passenger terminals were at full capacity on January 21, 1964, with four liners in port. Above, from left to right: Caronia arrives from the U.K. and departs to New York; Carmania arrived January 18 and departs on a Caribbean cruise. Queen of Bermuda arrives from a Caribbean cruise and departs January 22 on another; Santa Paula arrives from the Caribbean and sails mid-day to New York.
Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, Florida, opened for cargo business in 1928 and welcomed its first passenger ships in 1931 when the United Fruit Company Talamanca and Pastores called on their voyages between New York and Central America. The port received only occasional cruise visits in the 1930's by several well-known liners such as the Cunard Caledonia, Panama Pacific Colombia, Canadian Pacific Duchess of Richmond and Holland America Volendam. Through most of the 1940's, passenger service was interrupted by World War II and its aftermath.
The first regular passenger service commenced in October 1956 when the Portuguese flagship Santa Maria opened a new route from Lisbon to Port Everglades via Spain, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Venezuela, Curacao and Puerto Rico. In 1958, a total of 14,872 passengers embarked at the port, all at the Pier 4 Terminal (present site of Cruise Terminal 2).
By the start of the 1960's, the introduction of jet aircraft threatened the end of the ocean liner business. Shipowners soon deployed their fleets on cruises in the winter off-season, and Port Everglades was a natural home port within easy reach of sought-after sunny destinations in the West Indies and Latin America. A second passenger terminal (now a container facility) opened at Pier 3 in 1960, and 57,014 passengers embarked at the port. A third terminal also at Pier 3 (present site of Cruise Terminal 18), opened in 1964 and the passenger count nearly doubled to 105,469.
As of 2019, Port Everglades had eight cruise terminals capable of handling the largest cruise ships. It is one of the top three cruise ports in the world (the others being Miami and Port Canaveral, Florida) and peaks at over 50,000 passengers in a single day. Annual passenger count is now about four million.
Caribbean & South America:
Starting July 1958, Grace Line's new luxury liners Santa Rosa
and Santa Paula
began calling at Port Everglades every Tuesday as part of their continuous two-week circuits from New York to Venezuela and Caribbean ports. They could be booked to and from intermediate ports, but most passengers enjoyed the full cruise. Moore McCormack's Argentina
occasionally included Port Everglades on the regular service between New York and the east coast of South America.
Transatlantic & Transpacific:
Several ships operated regular routes calling at Port Everglades as they linked faraway destinations to the east and west. As mentioned, the Santa Maria
linked Lisbon and Florida once every month with intermediate calls at European and Caribbean ports. The New Zealand Shipping Company's Rangitane
connected New Zealand ports with England via the Panama Canal, calling at Port Everglades on every eastbound sailing. The Greek Queen Frederica
made one call to embark passengers for Greece via Mediterranean ports.
Regular around-the-world and worldwide voyages were operated by P&O-Orient Line's Canberra
, who added more ships and sailings as the decade went on (see Around the World with P&O-Orient Line
). Nederland Line's Oranje
and Royal Rotterdam Lloyd's Willem Ruys
offered regular around-the-world voyages starting in 1959, with Oranje
sometimes reversing direction in Holland or Australia. American President Lines' combination passenger cargoliners President Monroe
and President Polk
alternated calls every 100 days on a fixed westbound circuit. Even Cunard Line's illustrious Caronia
called to pickup guests at the start of her annual World Cruise.
There were five cruise ships based at Port Everglades for the full 1963/64 winter season, including Carmania
, Franca C
(which began cruising from the port in 1959), Hanseatic
, Queen of Bermuda
and Riviera Prima
. The comfortable little Ariadne
and the French Lines' flagship France
each also made one cruise from Port Everglades.
The attractions of a cruise were the same as now .. food, service, relaxation, charming ports, entertainment and fun. Some of the most popular destinations included Nassau, San Juan, St. Thomas, Barbados, Martinique, La Guaira, Kingston and Port-au-Prince. Notably Grand Cayman and Cozumel were not found in any itinerary until the 1970s and 80s.
Five vessels called at Port Everglades so that their passengers could visit and enjoy the local area. They did not embark or disembark new passengers. Andes
called on cruises from the U.K., Italia
was on a cruise from New York to the Bahamas and the British liners Reina Del Mar
and Southern Cross
called during longer line voyages.
Two notable additions to the Port Everglades fleet soon followed. In October 1965, Chandris Lines placed the 33,961-ton Australis
into around-the-world service. In June 1966, Costa Line entered their 1958-built Federico C
on monthly transatlantic service to Spain, France and Italy.
For a look at these and over 100 other ocean liners in service during 1966, see our affiliated website, LastOceanLiners.com.
Select a month or ship ABOVE for sailing schedule.