CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — During the state of the port, Cape Canaveral officials talked about cruise ships setting sail in 2021, but there’s more to the port that cruise ships.
A group of students enrolled in a maritime program at Rockledge High School are learning about the endless job possibilities.
Rockledge High is one of two schools in the entire state with a program like this, and the only ones with a simulator of the port.
For one student, a cruise sailing out of the port about 5 years ago inspired him to join the program.
“As I was going into my room, I met the captain and his deckhands and they told me all about the ship, and I was super excited and eager to learn about it,” said Lucas Diaz, one of the students in the program.
Helping Educate Leaders in Maritime Program Director Sarah Hardy said during the pandemic, as part of their class, they came up with solutions for the cruise industry before the CDC did.
“They came up with solution to test before passengers enter the ship, quarantine sick people, having larger hospital areas on the ship in case the person is sick,” she added.
The port is not only a place for cruise ships. There is berth space to accommodate space components like booster recoveries which are on the rise.
Terminal 3 is finally completed while cruise terminal 8 is undergoing renovation. In December a new $4.6 million fire boat is set to arrive.
“Port Canaveral is the second busiest cruise port in the world before COVID-19 and it’s a huge part of the economic engine for our state, and there are tons of jobs there kids don’t know about,” Hardy explains.
North America’s first LNG cruise ship set to arrive next year after being delayed due to the no sail order.
This year the port received 381 ship calls, a small increase from last year, creating $9.6 million in revenue.