Fort Lauderdale sits between Miami and Palm Beach on Florida’s ritzy Gold Coast. Renowned for its balmy climate, as well as sweeping sandy beaches and world-class cultural events, an extensive network of lagoons has earned the destination the nickname ‘Venice of America’.
Bursting with picturesque appeal, this vast network of lagoons connected by bridges and water taxis is well worth exploring. And with South Beach Miami’s colourful art deco buildings, the alligator-packed Everglades and writer Hemingway’s home in the Florida Keys all within easy reach, you won’t be lost for ways of selling this alluring destination to your clients.
A short cab ride from downtown and within easy reach of the airport, Port Everglades is a sprawling harbour divided into two sections, the Northport, which includes terminals 2 and 4 where Princess and MSC cruises dock, and Midport, home to several major cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean and Celebrity.
With nine terminals it’s easy to get lost in this state-of-the-art terminal, whose world-class facilities include a vehicle-to-ship luggage porter service and free wifi, so passengers should take a taxi to reach their berth or arrange a transfer in advance with their cruise line.
NEED TO KNOW
Port Everglades is one of the globe’s busiest cruise terminals, so passengers should expect crowds and long queues at security.
They will also find it worthwhile downloading the Port Everglades app, which has maps of the terminal and information on where different cruise lines are docked.
WHAT WE LOVE
Water taxis: With countless miles of boat-friendly canals and lagoons, the best way to explore Fort Lauderdale is to hop on a boat. Reasonably priced water taxis will take passengers to see most of the main sights. Alternatively, the Jungle Queen Riverboat offers fun tours along the New River to discover homes of the rich and famous on Millionaire’s Row, followed by an island stopover to watch an alligator show.
World-class shopping: Whether it’s hip art galleries and chic souvenir shops along Las Olas Boulevard, or budget-friendly brand shopping at the Swap Shop Circus, passengers would be well advised to bring an extra empty suitcase for their shopping.
Thrilling wildlife: Best explored on an exhilarating airboat tour, The Everglades, that vast expanse of tropical wetlands at the southern tip of Florida, is home to a host of endangered (and dangerous) animals, including American crocodiles, panthers and the elusive Florida alligator.
Great museums: The historic Stranahan House Museum is the best place to learn about Fort Lauderdale’s past, while the beautifully restored 35-acre Bonnet House Museum and Gardens is home to a stunning art collection. Keen art lovers will also want to visit the NSU Art Museum, close to the city’s lively Arts and Entertainment District, which has a permanent collection of more than 6,000 contemporary works.
- Ease of access, with flights from most major airports
- Great selection of choice for those who love to shop till they drop
- On the flip side, plenty of history and culture for those who prefer something a little more refined