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Extend Your Cruise With A Stay In Greater Miami & Miami Beach

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(MIAMI) – Whether you’re cruising with your family, friends, or that special someone, Miami is a sure bet as a port of call, and you’ll find all the travel essentials at the CruiseMiami.org.

Cruise Capital of the World

Set only 8 miles from Miami International Airport, PortMiami welcomed a record 6.8 million-plus discerning passengers in 2019, once again securing its status as the official "Cruise Capital of the World." No other cruise port attracts this many passengers, who come not only for the amazing array of cruise options but also for the attractive pre- and post-possibilities across the diverse, attraction-packed neighborhoods. Whether travelers have just a few hours near the port to discover Downtown Miami, Coconut Grove, and South Beach, or several days to venture around the 2,000 square miles of Greater Miami and Miami Beach, people are discovering that the destination – often ranked among the best urban beaches and recently named Holidu’s “Most Instagrammable Beach in the U.S.” – pairs well with a cruise vacation.

Upgraded PortMiami Looks Like a Billion Dollars

Already among the most modern cruise facilities in the world, PortMiami, home to more than 20 cruise brands berthing 60 ships, is undergoing a tremendous transformation with $1 billion in major ongoing infrastructure improvements, attracting more new-generation cruise ships that travelers demand. Along with the opening of Terminal A, the largest cruise terminal in the United States and home to some of Royal Caribbean’s largest ships, PortMiami also recently added Terminal B to accommodate up to 5,000 cruise passengers of Norwegian Cruise Line, and the groundbreaking of the renovation of Terminal F, home to Carnival Cruise Line passenger vessels—including the arrival of Carnival Celebration in late 2022. She will become the largest Carnival ship in the fleet! The port also recently launched Terminal V, the Virgin Voyages Terminal on the northwest side of the port. This lush tropical terminal hosts Sir Richard Branson’s first ship, Scarlet Lady which debuted October 2021.

Latest Buzzworthy Ships

An ideal place to launch voyages to a wide variety of destinations, including the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Mexico, and beyond, PortMiami offers cruise vacations for every style and budget—from family fun to luxury cruising. As part of this trend, recent cruise seasons brought new-build ships, such as the world’s second largest cruise ship, the 5,494-passenger ship, Symphony of the Seas, Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Horizon, and the aforementioned Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady. The largest ship in the world is Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas which made its debut in December 2021 and has a homeport in Port Canaveral. The beautiful Disney Wonder from Disney Cruise Line is also sailing from PortMiami. Many PortMiami cruise partners have also expanded their Miami fleets, including the Regent Seven Seas Splendor and Windstar Cruises Star Breeze, both of which have seasonal operations.

MSC Seashore made her PortMiami inaugural in November 2021. In March 2022, MSC is preparing to break ground on their mega state-of-the-art terminal capable of handling up to 36,000 passenger movements per day. In addition to state-of-the-art facilities for passenger services, the new terminal building will include office areas, multi-level parking for at least 2,400 vehicles and a new road connection.

Bypass Downtown With PortMiami Tunnel

Passengers now arrive even faster with the PortMiami tunnel, a free dedicated roadway linking the Port with the MacArthur Causeway and I-395, allowing travelers from South Beach and the airport to bypass most downtown traffic. The tunnel reduces idle vehicle time as well as emissions, a major goal of PortMiami's sustainability initiative—a series of energy conservation and cargo containment programs that have earned its designation as a “clean port.”

The proximity of PortMiami to the airport and abundant attractions/tours make it perfect for cruisers who only have a few hours to play before leaving Miami. However, more travelers these days opt to stay longer so they don’t miss all the exciting opportunities for sophisticated and playful fun in the sun—whether they’re traveling with friends, families, or romantic partners.

Family Fun

The simplicity of a cruise vacation is very appealing to family travelers. Miami’s family attractions, many of which are family-owned, are more intimate and quirkier, and similarly easy to navigate.

The Miami Children’s Museum, one of the 10 largest children’s museums in the United States, features hands-on exhibits, including a miniature supermarket, television news studio, a cruise ship, and a giant sandcastle slide. Parents of stargazers and budding naturalists will also want to schedule a trip to the Patricia & Philip Frost Museum of Science Miami knowns as the Frost Science located at the 21-acre Maurice A. Ferré Park, formerly known as Museum Park. Traveling and permanent exhibits are largely geared toward children exploring subject matter from dinosaurs to the properties of physics. Those traveling with artsy teens will want to stop by the adjacent Perez Art Museum, which features an impressive collection of international art of the 20th and 21st-centuries. Both museums are state-of-the-art and offer beautiful views of Biscayne Bay.

Over in Key Biscayne awaits Miami Seaquarium, a popular attraction which was the filming location of the 1960s hit TV show Flipper. Don’t miss swimming with the dolphins, where you play with your marine friend and swim with him across the lagoon. No certifications are needed for the Sea Trek Reef Encounter, where you will get to see a variety of unique aquatic animals.

Families also enjoying spending time with the rest of the animal kingdom at Miami’s acclaimed Zoo Miami. One of the world's great zoos and the only one in the continental United States located in a subtropical climate, Zoo Miami houses more than 2,000 animals in environments that mimic their natural habitats. Guests can explore the park via a VIP Experience (reservations required), a two-hour educational golf cart tour with your own personal tour guide and a meal voucher.

Recent additions include Florida: Mission Everglades featuring amazing flora and fauna and animals such as panthers, wading birds, bald eagles, alligators, and crocodiles, and the Conservation Action Center, offering an immersive and interactive experience for all ages.

Nearby Monkey Jungle, owned and operated by the DuMond family for three generations, is a rare place where the people are in cages and the primates run wild. This iconic Miami attraction boasts the behind-the-scenes Amazonian Rainforest Adventure Tour, which lets families walk over a large natural sinkhole and into a living laboratory, where they can hand-feed monkeys.

Another homegrown family-owned attraction, Everglades Alligator Farm invites you to enjoy an exhilarating airboat tour into the surrounding Everglades and a stroll around the farm to see the alligators, crocodiles, caimans, and wildlife that reside there, as well as a great display of local and exotic snakes. You can also satisfy your need for speed on an airboat ride at Miccosukee Indian Village, where you and your tribe can also see craft demonstrations, a museum, and alligator wrestling.

If you love planes, trains, and automobiles, several Miami points of interest offer unique opportunities to explore all three. At the Gold Coast Railroad Museum you and the family can enjoy interactive wooden model train sets and historic railroad equipment. The auto-themed Dezerland Park Miami offers fun attractions from car simulators to bumper cars and more.

If you want to get some exercise while enjoying the beautiful architecture of the Art Deco District visit the Art Deco Welcome Center at 1001 Ocean Drive and buy tickets for a variety of guided and self-guided walking tours. The tours feature fascinating facts about the district’s storied past and present, from glamorous hotels, historic sites, and pop culture to current hot spots and local favorites. Those who prefer to bike around the beach can access CitiBike ®, a solar-powered bike sharing/rental system that has more than 1,000 bikes and 100 stations around South Beach and other parts of Greater Miami. Another terrific way to explore Miami on wheels is via the family-friendly guided Cycle Party Wynwood Tour, which takes you through the colorful and quirky neighborhood, known for its vibrant murals and art scene.

Sports fans will have plenty of opportunities to catch the action with the hometown team, the Miami Heat, hitting the basketball court at FTX Arena, a sports and entertainment venue set along Biscayne Bay. Baseball enthusiasts will not want to miss the Miami Marlins playing ball at the neomodern loanDepot Park, which is just two miles from Downtown Miami, while football fans can catch the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in the city of Miami Gardens just north of Miami. Those who prefer to watch fast cars, head to Homestead-Miami Speedway, home to high-profile auto racing.

Miami for Lovers

The legendary moon over Miami presides over many pleasures for lovers, from romantic beach strolling and dancing the night away in a tropical nightclub to savoring a succulent meal in a hip restaurant and lounging in a poolside cabana.

If you and that special someone enjoy a little mystery, take them to Coral Castle, Miami’s most offbeat tourist attraction and featured on many television programs. To this day no one is certain how the eccentric owner built this beautiful castle without machines or human help.

Although dining in one of Miami’s sensational restaurants, where it’s all about the scene as much as the cuisine, it’s also great to take your plate outdoors in tropical splendor. From picnics on the beach to Miami’s beautiful parks, there are many ways to enjoy a romantic picnic. One of the best places is Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, featuring 83-acres of exotic plants and flowers--the perfect place to spend the day eating chocolate-dipped strawberries and other treats from a well-stocked picnic basket. The nearby Deering Estate offers great spots to picnic, as well as a romantic Valentine’s Day concert and beautiful historic homes perfect for proposing. Those looking for an urban picnic can enjoy one at the New World Symphony Center, which occasionally offers free New World Symphony concerts outdoors on their soaring 7,000 square-foot projection wall.

You and your partner will love a day or guided evening tour of the breathtaking gardens of Vizcaya Museum and Garden, a National Historic Landmark estate on Biscayne Bay. Or take a moonlight canoe trip, or kayak tour along the Coral Gables Waterway, the historic Oleta River, or through the hidden waterways of Key Biscayne.

If you like romance with an edge, check out the World Erotic Art Museum, home of the largest collection of erotic art in America and featuring paintings, tapestries, sculptures, and art objects from various times and cultures devoted to love. Couples looking for a cute date spot should head to South Beach and pop inside Time Out Market Miami featuring 24 restaurants, bars, shops, and a live music venue, and is a great spot to sample some of the city’s best food all in one place.

Shoppers Paradise

Miami offers shopping adventures for every budget. The always fun outdoor Bayside Marketplace downtown, located directly across from PortMiami, features more than 200 stores with everything from traditional moderately priced mall fare to gift kiosks. Enjoy watching the day cruises coming in and out of the harbor as Miami’s best local bands play for free. Every weekend you can search for a “made in Miami” find at the Artists’ Square event, featuring local artists creating original paintings, sculptures, jewelry, textiles, and more. Sightseeing tour boat cruises depart from the adjacent marina, including cruises to the celebrity homes. One of these cruises, the Thriller Miami Speedboat Tour, lets you see the mansions of the rich and famous as you speed around the bay Miami Vice-style. Other experiences in the vicinity include getting a bird’s eye view of the city from the Skyviews Miami observation wheel attraction or hopping on one of the Big Bus Tours Miami, a hop-on, hop-off experience that gives people a look at Miami’s vibrant neighborhoods.

Offering views of the Bay of Miami and PortMiami, Brickell City Centre offers the ultimate shopping experience with four levels of luxury and premium shops, dining, and entertainment, including a 107,000-square-foot Saks Fifth Avenue and VIP CMX cinema experience.

You can shop for bargains at a local flea market, or hunt for celebrities or precious designer goods at the ultra-luxurious Bal Harbour Shops just north of Miami Beach. Another great place to find designer fashions is the Shops at Merrick Park in Coral Gables, featuring beautiful streetscapes and fine restaurants. If home design is your thing, head over to the Design District, a creative neighborhood and shopping destination dedicated to innovative fashion, design, art, architecture and dining. The pedestrian-friendly Lincoln Road in South Beach is great for trendy, funky fashions, gifts, and accessories, or dining alfresco while watching the parade of tourists. "Miracle Mile" in Coral Gables is a great place to go for foodies and art lovers, featuring a renowned “restaurant row” of acclaimed restaurants. It’s also known for its respected art galleries, and acclaimed, Instagram-worthy murals created by Chalk & Brush Design Co.

One of the top shopping centers in the U.S. with more than 300 retailers and restaurants, Aventura Mall to the north, also features six anchor department stores, a 24-screen theater, and a full slate of year-round events, including a weekly farmer’s market, children's activities, fashion shows, and fundraisers. The mall recently added 102,000 square feet of retail space, boasting big names from Hugo Boss, to Microsoft, Porsche Design, Urban Outfitters, and Free People.

For those seeking a more intimate shopping experience, the Shops at Mary Brickell Village in downtown Miami's Brickell financial district offers nearly 50 upscale boutiques, signature restaurants, and bars.

Art Enthusiasts

Art Basel Miami Beach, the world’s premier gallery art event where the entire town becomes an arty party venue, makes early December a fabulous time to make Miami a port of call. Cutting-edge art and design enthusiasts throughout the year flock to soak up the tropical SoHo vibe of two cool districts north of downtown—the Design District, and the Wynwood Arts District—the latter of which is home to Wynwood Walls and the Museum of Graffiti. Just to the south is the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Florida’s largest performing arts center, second in size only to New York’s Lincoln Center. Here you can enjoy the Florida Grand Opera and the Miami City Ballet and many world-class events. You can also explore cutting-edge experiences at the Rubell Museum, boasting one of the biggest private contemporary art collections in North America, or Superblue, where you can wind your way through a mirrored labyrinthh by Es Devlin, discover a transcendent digital environment by teamLab, and enter an enveloping light-based Ganzfeld work by James Turrell.

Gaze in wonder at the Italian Renaissance palace of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens or spend an afternoon in Miami Beach admiring the Bass Museum of Art’s diverse collection of art, from contemporary to antiquities, and Renaissance and Baroque periods. Other museums of note include the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami and the Wolfsonian-FIU Museum in South Beach, the latter of which illustrates the persuasive power of art and design. While in South Beach, walk through the Art Deco District, featuring the world’s largest collection of Art Deco architecture. The Miami Design Preservation League offers self-guided taped tours or guided walking/ biking tours of the most astounding of the 800-plus Art Deco buildings. Another notable newcomer in Miami Beach is ARTECHOUSE, which merges art, science, and technology for an immersive visual experience.

The Great Outdoors

In Miami, outdoor enthusiasts can indulge in a wide variety of additional outdoor activities on and off the water. Cool off with world-class fishing, sailing, wreck diving, snorkeling, or kayaking. Enjoy underwater adventures in Biscayne National Park or hiking, biking, and naturalist-led cruising in nearby Everglades National Park. Award-winning golf courses and tennis complexes can also be found throughout the destination. Slated to open at the end of 2022 and beyond, The Reefline combines nature and art with its seven-mile underwater public sculpture park, snorkel trail, and artificial reef located off the Miami Beach shoreline.

If you time your visit right, you can also take advantage of the year-round sunny and warm weather to enjoy any number of colorful festivals, such as Miami International Boat Show and South Beach Wine & Food Festival (February).

Sweet Destination Deals

Every August and September, more than 100 of the city's top restaurants take part in Miami Spice Restaurant Month, offering their patrons substantial savings on three-course meals. You can find the latest information on this and other cool month-long money-saving promotions at www.MiamiTemptations.com.

Getting Around and Luggage Storage

Cruise travelers will find that PortMiami, Miami International Airport, as well as Greater Miami and Miami Beach are easily accessible by car, train or taxi, and other ground transportation options, such as shuttles, limousines, and ride-hailing, services, such as Uber and Lyft. Drive-in passengers can opt for convenient on-port parking with special arrangements for travelers with disabilities.

Many passengers are pleased to discover that they can get around Downtown Miami for free with the Metromover train. They can also pick up the City’s free Coral Way Route trolley, which picks up at the port and offers access to destinations like the Brickell Entertainment District or Vizcaya. If you’re traveling light, you can ride the Metrorail’s Orange Line to Miami International Airport in 20 minutes.

Recent transportation developments give people even more options to getting around the city and beyond, such as the Brightline Miami, a high-speed train that starts in Downtown Miami and currently heads north to Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. In the future it will extend all the way to Orlando.

For cruise travelers who need somewhere to temporarily store their luggage while they are taking in the local sights, there are many options, such as one of the more than 25 convenient LuggageHero locations throughout Greater Miami and Miami Beach, Luggage Lounge in South Beach, and Miami International Airport Baggage Storage.

Whether you’re cruising to bond with your family or rekindle romance, don’t forget to extend your stay in Miami. For more information on what to see and do, whether you have a few hours or days, go to www.CruiseMiami.org.

About The GMCVB

The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) is an accredited not-for-profit sales and marketing organization whose mission is to attract visitors to Greater Miami and Miami Beach for leisure, business, and conventions. For a vacation guide, visit our website at www.MiamiandMiamiBeach.com or call 1.888.76. MIAMI (US/Canada only) or 305.447.7777. To reach the GMCVB offices, dial 305.539.3000. Meeting planners may call 1.800.933.8448 (US/Canada only) or 305.539.3071 or visit www.MiamiMeetings.com. To get further engaged with Miami, join the conversation by following us on our social media channels at Facebook.com/visitmiami, Twitter.com/miamiandbeaches, Instagram.com/miamiandbeaches and Pinterest.com/miamiandbeaches.