Port of Miami Sets Passenger Record for Cruise Traffic

The Port of Miami has set a new world record for cruise traffic, with more than 4.15 million cruise passengers traveling through city over the last year.

It's the third year in a row Miami has seen its cruise passenger numbers rise to world record level. Officials say a strong summer season added to this year's mark.

The port is crediting the economy for the upswing. In a press release, officials say that "dollar conscious vacationers opted for cruise vacations as a way to get high value for their travel budget."

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez says, "We are pleased that even in a time of economic difficulty, cruise traffic continues to grow."

To be clear, the increase wasn't huge. The port processed 4,145,053 passengers during its fiscal year, from Oct. 1, 2009 through Sept. 30, 2010, compared to 4,110,100 for the same period last year.

But from July to September, cruise passenger traffic was up nearly 10 percent over a year ago, officials say.

The summer season included the arrival of Norwegian Cruise Line's new, 4,100-passenger Norwegian Epic, which inaugurated 7-day Caribbean cruises from the port in July.

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