Gov. announces Florida’s lawsuit against federal government, CDC over cruise restrictions
Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference at PortMiami Thursday morning, at which time he announced that the state would be filing a lawsuit against the federal government and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, demanding that cruise ships be allowed to start sailing immediately.
Cruise lines urge CDC to allow sailings from U.S. ports to resume in early July
The trade group for the world's biggest cruise lines on Wednesday called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to allow a phased-in resumption of sailings from U.S. ports in early July. Cruise lines said the early-July timeframe is in line with President Joe Biden's goal for when the U.S. will be "closer to normal." It's now been over 12 months since the cruise lines suspended all U.S. sailings due to Covid. "Cruise lines should be treated the same as other travel, tourism, hospitality, and entertainment sectors," CLIA's Craighead said in the release. Royal Caribbean announced two new sailings — one from its new home port of Nassau, Bahamas and another from Bermuda.cnbc.com
2 Royal Caribbean lines to resume Caribbean cruises in June
FILE - In this March 14, 2020 file photo, Royal Caribbean International cruise ship docked at PortMiami, among other cruise ships, as the world deals with the coronavirus outbreak in Miami. Royal Caribbean Group is putting its cruising toes back in the water this summer. The cruise company said Friday, March 19, 2021 that two of its lines Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises will resume Caribbean sailings in June. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)MIAMI – Two Royal Caribbean cruises will resume in June, ending a yearlong hiatus, but passengers 18 and older must test negative for COVID-19 before getting on a ship. Shares of Miami-based Royal Caribbean rose more than 2% Friday.
With cruises halted, PortMiami keeps it head above water
With cruises halted, PortMiami keeps it head above waterWritten by Jesse Scheckner on February 9, 2021AdvertisementAs the pandemic rages on, passenger ships remain harbored at PortMiami. The port would run into money troubles, Mr. Ostertholt said late last year, if cruise ships weren’t sailing at full capacity by April 19. A worst-case scenario in which passenger ships remain docked for two-plus years would see the port lose $285.5 million in previously guaranteed revenue. In exchange for the bailout, Miami-Dade asked only that cruise lines still guarantee vessel calls at PortMiami, maintain passenger volumes here relative to other US ports and possibly meet other requirements “on a cruise line by cruise line basis,” Mr. Osterholt wrote. MSC Cruises, which in 2019 inked a 62-year, multibillion-dollar deal with the county, including plans for a $300 million “mega terminal” that will also serve Disney ships, canceled cruises through April 30 or later.miamitodaynews.com
Gimenez, Salazar vote to punish congresswoman peddling conspiracy theories
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., goes back to her office after speaking on the floor of the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)WASHINGTON – House members voted 230-199 on Thursday evening to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from her two committee assignments. Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar and Rep. Carlos Gimenez were among the 11 Republicans who voted to push the Georgia congresswoman out of the budget committee and the education and labor committee. Related storiesBIDEN ON DIPLOMACYPresident Joe Biden speaks about foreign policy, at the State Department, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, in Washington. Biden also said he will not withdraw troops stationed in Germany, he will welcome more refugees and protect LGBTQ around the world.
County extends fee waivers for PortMiami cruise ships
County extends fee waivers for PortMiami cruise shipsWritten by Jesse Scheckner on December 29, 2020AdvertisementPortMiami’s more than nine-month waiver of berth and harbor fees for home-ported cruise vessels will continue through Jan. 31. Between then and now, Mr. Giménez extended the port waivers to its cruise partners four times. “Miami-Dade County will continue to support our cruise line partners through these unprecedented times,” Ms. Levine Cava said in a statement. In April, shortly after issuing the no-sail order, the CDC released a list of 28 sailings on 21 cruise ships in February and March that had onboard Covid-19 cases. Several, including three of the world’s largest cruise ships – MSC Cruises’ MSC Meraviglia and Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas – sailed from PortMiami.miamitodaynews.com
PortMiami team helps to fight hunger in Miami’s Overtown area
WATSON ISLAND, Fla. – Meka Hamilton Beasley helps to load and unload cargo onto ships at PortMiami where cargo activity has been doing well while its cruise terminal faces devastating limitations. On Monday, Beasley and about two dozen other members of the International Longshoremen’s Association teamed up with Farm Share, which delivered a semi-truck full of fresh food to Miami’s Overtown neighborhood. “When you do work, save your money for a rainy day and it’s stormy right now,” Beasly said. This is at a time when more than 50 million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to Feeding America, a nonprofit organization. U.S. Census reports one in six adults in South Florida are experiencing food insecurity.
Despite pandemic, PortMiami sets all-time cargo record
Despite pandemic, PortMiami sets all-time cargo recordWritten by Jesse Scheckner on November 24, 2020AdvertisementPortMiami just posted the biggest import-export numbers in its 80-plus-year history, new Miami-Dade County figures show, exceeding its prior record by 1.5% despite the difficulties that come with operating under coronavirus conditions. Fiscal year over year, sea cargo at the port dipped just 4.8%. County commissioners have OK’d an additional three-year study of further dredging of the harbor by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The port’s last dredging, which concluded in 2015, coincided with severe coral die-off in the area. “Such performance is a reflection of the resilience of our community and the role played by PortMiami.”miamitodaynews.com
PortMiami cargo keeps head above water in downturn
PortMiami cargo keeps head above water in downturnWritten by Jesse Scheckner on November 17, 2020AdvertisementSea cargo to and from Miami-Dade has dipped only slightly despite the coronavirus, according to PortMiami Director Juan Kuryla, who said he expects improvement through year’s end. “That is a significant achievement considering the economic condition worldwide and considering some countries have not yet totally opened.”World Trade Center Miami Chairman Roberto Muñoz agreed, calling the estimate “incredible” during a Friday Zoom call with Aviation Director Lester Sola, World Trade Center Miami CEO Ivan Barrios and Bill Johnson, a former PortMiami director, Enterprise Florida CEO and World Trade Center Miami head. In fiscal 2018-2019, PortMiami handled 1,000 cargo ships and 1,084,000 TEUs valued at $27 billion, port statistics show. Based on those figures and Mr. Kuryla’s estimate, PortMiami handled about 1,032,000 TEUs through Oct. 1. The remaining 18% links with Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India, whose cargo is counted separately.miamitodaynews.com
PortMiami huge project spending list wins county OK
PortMiami huge project spending list wins county OKWritten by Jesse Scheckner on November 3, 2020AdvertisementPortMiami projects costing Miami-Dade more than $301.5 million won OKs just two days before commissioners OK’d waiving up to $285.5 million for cruise lines crushed by Covid-19. The priciest, a design-build deal with Suffolk Construction for Virgin Voyages’ Cruise Terminal V, is to cost $158.6 million – 9% under estimates. Shifting risk coverage from Suffolk to the county and changing the project’s scope without altering its “visual integrity” saved $17 million. Commissioners also OK’d a deal with Lemartec Corp. for berthing realignment and expansion at Carnival’s Terminal F. The $120.7 million is 38% below county pre-bid estimates. JVA Engineering Contractors will handle the roadway, part of a 30-year terminal and berthing deal with Norwegian that was OK’d last year.miamitodaynews.com
FYI Miami: October 29, 2020
FYI Miami: October 29, 2020Written by Miami Today on October 27, 2020AdvertisementBelow are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. Miami-Dade commissioners unanimously approved the bailout Oct. 22 after Daniella Levine Cava released her hold on the authorizing item. The county estimates PortMiami revenue shortfalls at $68.5 million from March 13 to Nov. 29. That may complicate a “surprise” Ms. Sosa and Chairwoman Audrey Edmonson have planned for commissioners reaching term limits next month, Ms. Sosa said. MANAGER SEARCH: Miami Beach commissioners are to address This week the selection of a consulting firm to aid in recruitment of a new city manager.miamitodaynews.com
PortMiami dredging may rest on economic future of cruise lines
PortMiami dredging may rest on economic future of cruise linesWritten by Jonan Morales on October 21, 2020AdvertisementPortMiami continues to plan for more dredging, pandemic or not. As the coronavirus has plagued both Miami and the rest of the nation, there has been an increased focus on cruise ship travel and economic recovery. Now, after about a year and a half, US Army Corps of Engineers project manager Laura Reichold has an update on dredging work. “We’re evaluating the cruise ships from an economic standpoint, and the future of the cruise ship industry amid the pan-demic,” Ms. Reichold said. Many were concerned about a deep dredging project several years ago that they said significantly affected the area around the port.miamitodaynews.com
A monorail connecting Miami and Miami Beach? County agrees to fund planning.
MIAMI – New artist renderings show a proposed monorail that would run along the MacArthur Causeway, connecting downtown Miami to Miami Beach. They come from the Miami Beach Monorail Consortium, the main investor of which is Meridiam, the development firm that also managed the PortMiami tunnel project. Meridiam is described by a company spokesperson as the “main investor and developer of the Miami Beach Monorail Consortium”. “We look forward to working with the Miami-Dade County administration and the community over the next 12 to 18 months to lay critical planning, engineering and budgeting groundwork for the Miami Beach Monorail. The proposed monorail - if passed - would be the first time rail would connect Miami to Miami Beach since the streetcar system of the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Quarter-billion dollar cruise industry bailout floated
Quarter-billion dollar cruise industry bailout floatedWritten by Jesse Scheckner on October 14, 2020AdvertisementAs the US cruise industry enters its seventh month of inactivity due to Covid-19, Miami-Dade is eyeing a plan that could forgive more than a quarter-billion dollars that cruise lines would otherwise have paid PortMiami. A worst-case scenario in which cruise lines remain docked for two-plus years would see the port lose $271.5 million and be forced to dip into reserves to remain operational past April, a memo from Deputy Mayor Jack Osterholt said. In exchange, Miami-Dade would ask only that cruise lines continue to guarantee vessel calls, maintain passenger volumes here relative to other US ports and possibly meet added requirements “on a cruise line by cruise line basis.”Commissioners in the Tourism and Ports Committee today (10/15) are to give first consideration to the proposed plan from Mayor Carlos Giménez’s administration. PortMiami covered those losses by freezing hiring, eliminating overtime and pausing marketing, nonessential capital projects and cargo incentives, among other measures. Cruise lines during phase two would have to pay their minimum dockage and wharfage fees “unless additional county actions dictate otherwise,” Mr. Osterholt wrote.miamitodaynews.com
PortMiami Expansion Threatens Coral City Camera's Underwater Livestream
As the pandemic made social isolation a worldwide reality, the Coral City Camera offered viewers a connection to the outside world — and to each other. The Coral City Camera was strategically placed on an artificial reef where the county has previously relocated corals to accommodate a sewer line in Government Cut. Ramón (left) and Oval (right) make regular appearances on the Coral City Camera. Coral Morphologic is now urging its fans to write letters to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in support of the Coral City Camera. A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers report about the PortMiami expansion is embedded below:miaminewtimes.com
PortMiami stays open for business during pandemic thanks to cargo, director says
MIAMI Without the regular flow of hard-core cruise-goers, PortMiami Director Juan Kuryla said cargo and trade have helped the port to stay open for business during the coronavirus pandemic. During a public meeting of the Miami-Dade County Tourism and the Ports Committee on Tuesday, Kuryla said PortMiami employees have only reported a few COVID-19 cases over the last couple of weeks. Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian have been juggling an increase in clean up costs, a no sail order and lawsuits. Royal Caribbean aims to sail from Miami to the Bahamas on Sept. 18. On Oct. 1, Norwegian Cruise Line plans to sail from Miami to the Bahamas and Crystal Cruises from Miami to San Juan.
PortMiami working to redrawn agreements with multi-billion impact
PortMiami working to redrawn agreements with multi-billion impactWritten by Jesse Scheckner on May 12, 2020AdvertisementTwo months after cruise lines ceased operations worldwide, the Cruise Capital of the World and its industry partners are in talks to redraw details in their long-term agreements to adjust to post-coronavirus expectations. Now, PortMiami and the cruise lines have exchanged force majeure letters, calling upon contractual clauses that free both parties from liabilities and obligations due to unforeseen circumstance. The port also waived lay berth fees through Tuesday to help the companies shoulder costs. Were working hand-in-hand with them, as we always do, to come up with solutions to these challenges, Mr. Kuryla told Miami Today. Plantation-based Virgin Voyages agreed to make PortMiamis planned Cruise Terminal V its exclusive Florida homeport for the next decade and its only homeport on Floridas East Coast through 2051.miamitodaynews.com
About 90 international passengers remain aboard Coral Princess
MIAMI – About 90 international passengers remain aboard the Coral Princess ship at PortMiami, as others left Tuesday on nine additional domestic charter flights, a spokesperson for Princess Cruises said. Princess Cruises confirmed two people on board died while the ship was at sea and there were 12 cases of the new coronavirus. A third passenger, Wilson Maa, of California, died at a Hialeah hospital Saturday night after waiting for hours to be taken off the ship. The cruise line said 545 guests disembarked Coral Princess on Sunday and another 139 left Monday, leaving 274 on board. According to the spokesperson, Coral Princess departed March 5 from San Antonio (Santiago) for a South America voyage, which was scheduled to end in Buenos Aires on March 19.
Congresswoman Wilson Helps Secure $43 Million Grant for PortMiami
// // ////Washington, D.C. As chair of the bipartisan Florida Ports Caucus and a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson applauded the U.S. Department of Transportations decision to award a $43.9 million to PortMiami. The grant will support the construction of a fumigation and cold chain processing facility, as well as other infrastructure projects including pavement repairs, stormwater and drainage upgrades, and enhancements to support refrigerated containers. Congratulations PortMiami for winning a $44 million grant to support the construction of a fumigation facility and other infrastructure. In September 2019, Congresswoman Wilson joined Congresswomen Donna Shalala and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in supporting PortMiamis application in a letter to DOT Secretary Elaine Chao. Congresswoman Wilson will continue to champion issues affecting PortMiami and all other Florida ports.sflcn.com
Rep. Shalala leads Charge to Secure Multi-Million Dollar Grant for PortMiami
Congresswoman Donna Shalala (FL-27) joined Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), and Mayor of Miami-Dade County, Carlos Gimenez in announcing that PortMiami received a $44 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to construct a state-of-the-art cold fumigation facility which will make it more competitive with other ports on the east coast. PortMiami is one of the true economic engines of Miami-Dade County, said Rep. Shalala. I am proud to have helped lead the Miami-Dade delegation in support of a grant that will ensure PortMiami will continue driving economic growth in South Florida for years to come. The state-of the-art cold processing facility will enhance Miamis position as a key point of treatment and processing for perishable food products free of pests and diseases for both domestic and international consumption. Reps. Frederica Wilson and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell joined the efforts in support of this grant.communitynewspapers.com
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones sails into town for Super Bowl
MIAMI – Say whatever you want about Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, but there’s one thing you can’t deny: The man knows how to travel in style. Jones, or those who work for him, arrived in South Florida recently for Super Bowl LIV via his yacht. The “Bravo Eugenia,” as Jones named her, is currently sitting at PortMiami where it rivals some of the massive cruise ships docked nearby. If you’re visiting the Super Bowl Live event at Bayfront Park, the yacht sits just across the way. And if that wasn’t enough, the Bravo Eugenia also comes with its own pool.
FYI Miami: January 23, 2020
FYI Miami: January 23, 2020Written by Miami Today on January 21, 2020AdvertisementBelow are some of the FYIs in this weeks edition. PORT SMASHES RECORDS: PortMiami broke records in cargo and cruise passengers last year, it reported Tuesday. Metrobus riders fell 1.1% to 4,554,886 in the year, and 25.6% from more than 6 million riders in October 2015. Las week, the City of Miami Commission meeting was adjourned before noon as commissioners argued over the order of the day, leaving more than 50 items unaddressed. MAYOR GOES TO PAMM: This year, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez will deliver his State of the City Address at the Prez Art Museum Miami.miamitodaynews.com
Miami-Dade looks to build freight ties with Brazil, Paraguay
Miami-Dade looks to build freight ties with Brazil, ParaguayWritten by Jesse Scheckner on December 3, 2019AdvertisementBrazil is by far Miami-Dades top trade partner, and Paraguay has long had freight ties. Were talking about jobs, Mr. Souto told commissioners Tuesday after a trade trip they took to those nations. Paraguay, Mr. Souto said, is strategically located between Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. Although Brazil cargo is top at Miami International Airport, PortMiami has yet to hit a similar boom, Mr. Kuryla said. Its our goal to bring those leather goods, bring that hide, bring when permissible refrigerated beef from Brazil to PortMiami by establishing new trade links.miamitodaynews.com
PortMiami deals to create 27,500 jobs, mayor says
The county agreed to shoulder up to $175 million to upgrade the terminal, of which Carnival agreed to reimburse $65 million. Commissioners in April gave MSC an early OK to build two new mega cruise terminals, a parking garage, offices, four gangways and other supportive infrastructure on 20 PortMiami acres. The company agreed to pick up all costs of construction, more than $300 million. Cruise Terminals AA and AAA, once built, will be able to handle two 7,000-passenger ships at a time. Virgin Voyages100,000-square-foot Terminal V will serve two of the adults-only cruise lines new ships, port spokesperson Andria Muniz-Amador said.miamitodaynews.com
As PortMiami rides high, more development deals on horizon
As PortMiami rides high, more development deals on horizonWritten by Jesse Scheckner on August 13, 2019AdvertisementPortMiami, the worlds busiest cruise port in passengers by industry figures, is on course to maintain that distinction for the foreseeable future. Throughputs at the port in 2018 rose 4.7% from the year prior to roughly 5.59 million passengers, according to the ports annual financial report. Construction for Norwegian Cruise Line at the seaports Terminal B is now ongoing and scheduled to open in spring 2020. This new agreement would bring an estimated 1.5 million passengers through PortMiami each year, Ms. Muniz-Amador wrote. Three of MSCs 15 cruise ships MSC Seaside, MSC Divina and MSC Armonia now the seaports Terminal F, and a fourth, the MSC Meraviglia, is scheduled to arrive this fall.miamitodaynews.com
Lots of cities want Brightline stations. Heres where the next ones are likely to go.
Theres a tremendous demand for the services weve built in South Florida, said Ben Porritt, senior vice president of corporate affairs at Brightline, which is being rebranded as Virgin Trains USA. "While Boca Raton, PortMiami and Aventura are our top priorities today, there are other cities along the South Florida corridor we are hearing from, listening to and getting an understanding of what their vision is for the future.sun-sentinel.com
PortMiami to receive $8 million federal grant for infrastructure improvements
This May 19, 2015, photo shows stacked cargo containers and cranes at PortMiami. MIAMI - Millions of dollars to improve PortMiami is on its way from Washington. The port is getting an $8 million federal grant to rebuild aging bulkheads at the Seaboard Marine terminal. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao made the announcement Thursday in Washington as part of a plan to rebuild the nation's infrastructure. The PortMiami project will rebuild aging bays and create new capacity for loading and unloading cargo containers.
Army trims PortMiami dredging plans
Army trims PortMiami dredging plansWritten by Jesse Scheckner on July 23, 2019AdvertisementThe US Army Corps of Engineers next round of dredging at PortMiami now has a tighter focus, as survey results of existing conditions and current needs at the port found that only its inner cuts needs dredging. The Corps last week put a draft environmental assessment of the preferred scope online, a release from spokesperson Susan Jackson said. Researchers found evidence that dredging sediment buried up to 90% of nearby coral reefs, resulting in extensive coral death, and dredging impacts may have spread to 15.5 miles of Floridas reef tract. The Corps preferred alternative to maintain current operations and maintenance levels includes dredging about 100,000 cubic yards from the inner harbor, with dredged materials to be disposed of offshore from PortMiami at the Miami Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site. The Corps is also studying PortMiamis future needs through a three-year, $3 million study funded by Miami-Dade County.miamitodaynews.com