TAMPA, Fla. — Cruise companies announced new ideas this week for how to get back to sailing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not yet given them the green light to welcome passengers back on voyages, so it could be months before we see cruises sail from Port Tampa Bay again.
Even though the port has not had cruises coming and going in more than a year, workers there have been busy.
What You Need To Know
- Business booming at Port Tampa Bay
- Container shipping is up 40%
- Cruises made up 17% of Port’s revenue. Now 4%
“The vessel traffic has been similar to previous years. The cargo volumes have been up, and from a cargo operation standpoint, it’s been business as usual,” said Brian Giuliani, Vice President of Operations at Port Tampa Bay. “We’ve been open the whole time” Giuliani says container business at the port has increased by 40%.
“Business has actually been up. The container business has been up,” said Giuliani.
Each day at Port Tampa Bay, businesses operate across the 5,000-acre property. From cargo to fuel and bulk products, things are moving in and out constantly.
“The diversity here was key to our resiliency through the pandemic,” Giuliani explained.
Port Tampa Bay says before the pandemic, cruises made up 17% of its budget. Port officials project that will fall to 4% for this fiscal year.
“The loss of the cruises was significant. But everything else continued as usual, and actually we’ve prospered in some cases. Again, the containers is probably the best example,” Giuliani said.
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President of Security Mark Dubina took Spectrum Bay News 9 on a tour of the port.
“This is a small city within a city, and everything we do here is for the benefit of our community, our region, and our state,” Dubina said.
Giuliani says they have cleaning and safety protocols in place and look forward to welcoming cruises and passengers back.
In a Thursday, March 26, 2020 file photo, Carnival Cruise ships are docked at the Port of Tampa in Tampa, Fla. (Chris O’Meara/AP)