Port Canaveral, Florida
A multipurpose port on the eastern side of Florida, Port Canaveral is the busiest port on the so-called Space Coast, home of the Kennedy Space Centre. Dredged in the 1950s, it is now used by the United States Navy as well as cargo carriers and cruise liners.
An hour’s drive from Orlando, it is a popular stop for passengers seeking to explore the many amusement parks offered in this part of Florida. Orlando is home to Walt Disney World, SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Orlando, Wet N Wild and many others.
The port is situated on Cape Canaveral, nestled in between the Banana River and the Atlantic Ocean. The region is best known for its importance in the development of NASA’s space program, the Kennedy Space Centre being the launch point for every human space flight undertaken by the United States.
Approximately 85 kilometres east of Orlando (1 hour by car) and 40 kilometres north of Melbourne, Florida’s Port Canaveral is a manmade harbour on Cape Canaveral. It is deep in the heart of the cape’s surfing and water-sports region.
At Port Canaveral there are a number of facilities well within arm’s reach:
- Each terminal has its own secure parking area, with federally trained security guards
- Nearby Jetty Park offers a beach, a fishing pier and a snack kiosk.
Constantly developing, Port Canaveral is updating its terminals to provide a greater level of service to cruise passengers. Nearby Cove Marketplace and its surrounds offer shopping and restaurants for those wanting something close at hand.
How to Get Around
Taxis are available directly from the pier to take you to your desired destination, or else there are shuttle services provided by tourist businesses – these will take you to a handful of locations around the cape area. There is no public bus or train service to Orlando or further into inland Florida, so rental cars or shuttles are advised for longer journeys.
- Currency: The currency in Cape Canaveral is the United States dollar. Coins come in 1 cent (penny), 5 cent (nickel), 10 cent (dime), 25 cent (quarter), 50 cent (half dollar) and $1 denominations. Notes come in $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations.
- Time Zone: Cape Canaveral uses Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) from March to October, and Eastern Standard Time (EST) from November to February. EDT is 4 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time, while EST is 5 hours behind.
- Weather: Cape Canaveral has a humid, subtropical climate affected by its proximity to the Atlantic ocean. The average temperature ranges from 17° Celsius in January to 28° Celsius in July.
- Kennedy Space Centre - The Kennedy Space Centre has been the location of all manned NASA flights since 1968, and has developed a reputation as the leading proponent of space flight and space technology. Just 22 kilometres north of Port Canaveral, it is a quick trip by car to learn about the complexities of space travel or to observe a shuttle launch.
- Walt Disney World - About 52 million people visit Walt Disney World every year, making it one of the most popular holiday resorts on earth. Located in Orlando, it is home to 4 theme parks, 24 themed hotels, and golf courses, water parks and abundant green space.
- Jetty Park - This quaint oceanfront beach is very close to Port Canaveral. Camping is available and it is a great place for bike riding, lazing in the sun, or renting a surfboard and getting active in the Atlantic. There is also a long pier suitable for fishing, with bait and tackle available to buy in the park.
- Cocoa Village - A charming destination known for its historic authenticity, Cocoa Village has great riverside dining, small handicraft shops and an altogether nostalgic allure that is in welcome contrast to the otherwise technological focus of Florida’s Space Coast.