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Old 13-04-2014, 08:29   #1
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Cruise Ships coming in and out of Port Canaveral

Folks,

Where do we get the latest updates and navigate the port canaveral inlet when cruise ships are exiting? Do they close off the port for security reasons? Although we have transited Norfolk, this will be the first time entering such a busy and congested port.

I am assuming you just monitor to 9/13/16 for ship activity and take corrective action early.
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Old 13-04-2014, 08:43   #2
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Re: Cruise Ships coming in and out of Port Canaveral

The first time playing with ships is a bit 'exciting' but its really quite easy.

If you do not have AIS but do have internet on the boat you could check marinetraffic.com and zoom into whatever port you are near.
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Old 13-04-2014, 08:45   #3
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Re: Cruise Ships coming in and out of Port Canaveral

When there are cruise ships in Miami they close the main ship channel, but you can still transit the area by transiting the inlet, then taking a channel to the south and go past the freighters. In Port Everglades/ Ft Lauderdale, they have security zones around the ships, last time I went through there were RIBs by the ships. I did not go near to check

My SWAG is that they probably have a security zone around the cruise ships. When the USCG closes the Miami main ship channel, there is a security call ever 20 min or so on Ch.16.
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Old 13-04-2014, 08:48   #4
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Re: Cruise Ships coming in and out of Port Canaveral

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
The first time playing with ships is a bit 'exciting' but its really quite easy.

If you do not have AIS but do have internet on the boat you could check marinetraffic.com and zoom into whatever port you are near.
Excellent advice. Thanks for the link.

AND - we love our Watchmate 850 Vesper Marine.
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Old 13-04-2014, 16:11   #5
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Re: Cruise Ships coming in and out of Port Canaveral

We do have an AIS... its a transponder so they can see us as well. It works very well but even in Norfolk there is plenty of room to maneuver. We also have radar.

It doesn't appear that there is much leeway to move in that channel. The closest we have come to a large vessel was a Navy gun ship of some kind about a mile away heading into the Norfolk channel along with us. The thought of sharing a channel with a HUGE cruise ship makes me nervous.

What speed do the large cruise ships make once in the channel? Do they pick up pilots like the do in Jax?
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Old 13-04-2014, 16:28   #6
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Re: Cruise Ships coming in and out of Port Canaveral

The ships do have pilots at Port Canaveral.

We know when they are leaving because they are all over the radio. Every so often someone in a smaller craft will not pay attention to the warning and that makes for interesting radio traffic.

We have been on a few of those cruises and from the time they cast off until they are past the marker is remarkably short. The usually haul butt to cross the stream as quickly as possible as not to upset the passengers.
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Old 13-04-2014, 17:45   #7
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Re: Cruise Ships coming in and out of Port Canaveral

You can go very close to them, say 100 meters. In the inshore channel they will not be going fast. Outside they will alter speed to get to their next port of call on time, so their speed varies.

They will normally be in the middle of the marked channel on their side of the channel, so that gives you basically three places to be: on either edge of the channel or right in the middle.

In the middle is safest in traffic separation channels where there is a buffer between the lanes. The next best place is on the starboard side of the channel. But i never go outside the channel in a strange port. It may be shallow or obstructed.
You are a boat so you can be counted like any boat larger than you. But remember the rule book and brush up on it.

Remember the ships coming in and out of port will have a pilot and they know their stuff, as do ships crews. They will be watching for you.

Listen in on VHF 16 and 13 because the ship will often put out an All Ships message before they move on VHF 16.

You can get quite close to them, you are not going to be sucked up some vortex.


With your AIS you will find it much easier and you will have their exact distance off. They are wonderful bits of kit. And he will be watching you on his AIS. Thats why they are great!
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Old 14-04-2014, 11:52   #8
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Re: Cruise Ships coming in and out of Port Canaveral

As a little addition, they typically arrive in the early AM and depart late afternoon.
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Old 14-04-2014, 12:44   #9
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Re: Cruise Ships coming in and out of Port Canaveral

At the Port of Canveral they leave between 5-6PM and arrive at 0600. Port security will keep you 500 yds away. The port is the only entrance for miles so they can't close it for arriavals and departures like Miami.
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Old 14-04-2014, 12:53   #10
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Re: Cruise Ships coming in and out of Port Canaveral

I concur with opinions on AIS. In addition, they have subroutines that compute how close you will pass each other, and if it is less than a quarter of a mile I get a polite call telling me to move over a snuge. Makes life so much easier.
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Old 14-04-2014, 13:02   #11
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Re: Cruise Ships coming in and out of Port Canaveral

zboss,

This link has the port call schedule (arrivals and departures) for Port Everglades...

Public Traffic Board

Quite a lot of info there.
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