Port of Miami Guide
Often referred to as the Cruise Capital of the World, the Port of Miami is the home of the largest fleet on Earth, setting records for port traffic year after year. Its official name, the Dante B. Fascell Port of Miami-Dade, honors the late South Florida congressman who served in the U.S. Senate between 1995 and 1993. Every year almost 4 million cruise passengers stop by in this port only to sail ahead towards famous destinations such as the Bahamas, the Caribbean, South America, Mexico, or even Europe, Asia or Africa. The beginnings of the world's most popular cruise port go back to year 1896, when Henry Flagler, a business tycoon, brought his East Coast Railroad to Miami.
Soon afterwards, he invested in the construction of the port and started to collect dockage fees. Nassau was the first destination for passenger cruise service. Then, in 1915, the Port of Miami went on to become the main hub for shipping to South Florida, following an extensive development project. In the 1930s and 1940's passenger services were inaugurated for New York, Baltimore, and Cuba. The US Navy controlled all port operation during the World War II. Dodge Island was annexed in 1956 to sustain port expansion. After setting a record in 1968 with four new voyages in a single month, eight years later the Port of Miami became the first port ever to have over one million cruise passengers in a year. This pace grew steadily each year, placing the Port of Miami among the US top seaports.
In 1992 a five-lane bridge was opened, linking the port to the mainland, which was then decorated with a lighting installation in 1996. The Port of Miami reached a new milestone in 1999, when it accommodated the largest cruise ship ever built, the luxurious Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas. Nowadays the Port of Miami continues its development, through over $170 million of construction projects that aim to remodel, upgrade and modify some of the existing terminals, the parking garages and the security complex. The Port of Miami is located a few miles east of Miami International Airport and getting there is simple: by taxis, rental cars or shuttles. If driving, taking I-95 north or south to I-395 and then following directional signs will get you there. One of the best attractions is the Miami Beach Art Deco area, with over 800 historic buildings from the early 20th century. Those who enjoy nature may try the Everglades Safari Park, where crocodile exhibitions are on offer, or the Parrot Jungle Island, with thousands of exotic animals and plant species on display.