New Transportation Option Coming for Port Canaveral Cruisers

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The high-speed passenger train Brightline has just announced plans for a new station on the Space Coast, just eight miles from Port Canaveral.

This will be an amazing option for travelers hoping to cruise from the popular homeport, and will make the port easily reachable from either Orlando International Airport or south Florida airports in Miami or Fort Lauderdale.

New Brightline Station Announced Near Port Canaveral

Brightline and the City of Cocoa have announced a new station for the high-speed rail in Brevard County, at the “Cocoa Curve” where the trains naturally slow to turn from east-west to north-south. That curve is located at the intersection of US 1 and State Road 528 – which, incidentally, is the road that leads directly to Port Canaveral.

“Brightline is ready to begin the formal process with Space Coast stakeholders to fulfill our vision for a Brevard County station,” announced Katie Mitzer, Director of Public Affairs for Brightline.

“The Space Coast [Transportation Planning Organization], Brevard County, city of Cocoa and other community leaders have started to bring the region together to identify potential federal, state and local resources for a station to be located in Cocoa. We agree the time is now to finalize a plan.”

This new station could make it faster and more efficient for travelers to reach the cruise port without relying on lengthy shuttle services or getting stuck in traffic snarls. Orlando International Airport is approximately a 45-60 minute drive from Port Canaveral, depending on traffic, but the train can make that trip in a fraction of the time and isn’t impacted by traffic jams.

This would give passengers more flexibility with their pre- or post-cruise travel arrangements and the timing of flights. Plus, the train’s connections to south Florida, including Fort Lauderdale and Miami, also give cruise guests more options for which airports they may choose, and will encourage more residents of other regions to consider Port Canaveral for their cruise vacation plans.

Brightline Route
Brightline Route (Photo Credit: Markus Mainka)

“The Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization (SCTPO) has been focused on increasing regional connections to move people safely and efficiently throughout the state of Florida,” said Georganna Gillette, SCTPO Executive Director.

Port Canaveral is also welcoming to the idea of the new Brightline station and how it can facilitate cruise guests reaching the port.

“We’re projecting over 7 million passenger movements this year, and we are thrilled that our guests will have another transportation option to embark on a cruise from Port Canaveral,” said Captain John Murray, Port Canaveral CEO.

Read Also: Port Canaveral Voted Best US Cruise Homeport of 2023

Port Canaveral is already a popular homeport for multiple top cruise lines, including Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, MSC Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, and Norwegian Cruise Line.

A new cruise terminal is planned for the port, and in November 2024, Princess Cruises will also begin homeporting from Port Canaveral, bringing even more cruise options for eager travelers.

Funding Yet to Come

While the announcement of the new Cocoa Brightline station is exciting, funding for the project must still be secured and there is no timeline yet for when the new station may be completed, though it is likely to take several years to complete and open for operation.

Cruise Ships at Port Canaveral
Cruise Ships at Port Canaveral (Photo Credit: Robert Michaud)

Different funding sources are all being investigated, including state and federal grants, community partners, use of existing tourist taxes, and other options.

“We have pursued a Brightline station since 2016 when we conducted a study that identified the best station location in Cocoa near Clearlake/US1 and SR 528,” said Gillette. “We will continue to work diligently with our community and regional partners to secure funding to build a Brightline station in Cocoa.”

Once complete, the station will be a tremendous asset to the City of Cocoa and the surrounding community with new jobs and economic impact, including the increase in tourism by Brightline riders.

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