TAMPA, Fla. – The Tampa Port Authority officially welcomed the Norwegian Dawn to Tampa during today’s plaque exchange ceremony commemorating the ship’s inaugural call in Tampa, as well as the start of the 2012-2013 busy winter cruise season. Norwegian Dawn replaces Norwegian Star, as Norwegian Cruise Line’s home ported ship at the Port of Tampa. In addition to attendance by port officials, a select group of local tourism leaders, travel agents and media representatives enjoyed a guided tour of the ship. The 2,224-passenger Dawn is sailing a series of seven-day Western Caribbean cruises with stops in Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; along with two relaxing days at sea. The ship has a gross tonnage weight of 92,250 tons, length of 965 feet, and crew size of 1,066.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome Norwegian Dawn to the Port of Tampa and to see a continued commitment by Norwegian Cruise Line to make Tampa one of its home ports, bringing significant economic benefit to the Tampa area and the region,” Charles Klug, interim port director chief executive, said.
Over the course of the season, it is estimated that passenger and crew spending resulting from the Norwegian Dawn will have an impact of over $8 million on the local economy.
Tampa Port Authority (www.tampaport.com) administers Florida’s largest and one of the nation’s most diversified ports, handling a wide mix of bulk, break bulk, RoRo and containerized cargoes, and is also one of the nation’s premier cruise home ports, as well as a major center for shipbuilding and repair. The Port of Tampa is the largest economic engine in west and central Florida, generating nearly 100,000 jobs and some $8 billion in economic impact.