Home Cruises Florida Gaining Another Port Of Call For Cruises

Florida Gaining Another Port Of Call For Cruises

by SharonKurheg

Many cruise fans were disappointed when the decision was made to no longer allow large cruise ships to use Key West as a port of call once cruising can begin again in the U.S. But I guess, to paraphrase an old saying, when a door is closed, a window is opened. Another city in Florida has just gotten approval to become a port of call for one of the world’s largest cruise lines.

Panama City is located in northern Florida, along the Gulf coast. Long known for its beautiful beaches, it’s also listed as one of the best art towns in America for cities with a population of less than 50,000. And it’s now going to be a port of call for Viking Cruises.

The commissioners of Panama City recently unanimously voted to approve a letter of intent from Viking Cruises Ltd. to designate Panama City as one of its ports of call. With the approval complete, The Viking Star will arrive around noon each Tuesday and say for about 6 hours. The 930 passengers and 465 crew members ship will anchor in nearby St. Andrew Bay and tenders will meet the ship to transport guests to local attractions.

The seven-day cruise starts in Tampa, and Panama City will be its second stop. From there, it will be scheduled to go to Mobile, Alabama; Key West (the Viking Star is one of the ships that will still be able to stop in Key West); Nassau, Bahamas; then back to Tampa.

There will be a nine-week trial run to see if the system works well for all involved. It’s tentatively scheduled to begin on Jan. 19 and continue each Tuesday until March 16. Well, assuming that cruise ships can begin by then. I’d think that the start date might be subject to change.

Feature Photo: Scott Long/Wikimedia

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Mb December 18, 2020 - 5:17 pm

So smart, I have wondered why they weren’t a cruise port for such a long time.

DaninMCI December 18, 2020 - 6:37 pm

I still can’t believe Key West won’t be a port of call. It was an awesome place to visit. I’m sure the small business owners there that cater to tourist are super thrilled. Panhandle ports sound interesting but not the same.

SharonKurheg December 18, 2020 - 6:41 pm

As we wrote in the Key West article, cruise tourism wasn’t particularly lucrative. And this will definitely let their environment heal. Even the cleanest large ships that stopped at KW were still awful for the environment of KW.

Jay December 19, 2020 - 8:29 am

Lol, it’s currently 48 degrees in Tampa and half the cruise is taking you to places north and in the dead of winter! I’m assuming these 7 day cruises are $1 + taxes and fees?

SharonKurheg December 19, 2020 - 9:53 am

We lived in Tampa for 2 years before moving to Orlando 18 years ago. There’s just as much chance of it being 78 or even 88 degrees, as it is 48 (or even 38) degrees in January.


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