Grand Celebration

New Port of Palm Beach Cruise Ship Arriving Today, But Size is a Concern.

The newest cruise ship to operate out of the Port of Palm Beach has arrived, but some are concerned the larger vessel is too big to safely navigate the inlet.

"Given the constraints of the channel, and the varying wind and current conditions, Tropical Shipping considers the port’s decision to accept the larger size cruise vessel operating from the Port of Palm Beach every other day to be extremely risky for the safety of the Lake Worth inlet channel." said Rick Murrell, Chief Executive Officer of Tropical Shipping.

Bobbie Lindsay, a Civic Association Director and President of the Save Our Inlet Coalition, said she fears the larger cruise ship will add momentum to a movement to widen and deepen the inlet.

The coalition is made up of the Florida Wildlife Federation; the Sierra Club; the Palm Beach Civic Association; and many local tourism, fishing, and diving businesses - they oppose the $88.6 million dredging project for the Port of Palm Beach proposed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The corps withdrew a permit application for the project in June after the state asked for more plan details.

“They are going to try to say that now they have a reason to widen and deepen the inlet,” Lindsay said. “Their whole thing now is about safety and what they are doing with this big ship is jeopardizing safety.”

The Grand Celebration, which is replacing the damaged Bahamas Celebration, is 733 feet long, width (beam) 105 feet.  The length of the old vessel is 672 feet, beam 87 feet. 

Photo of Grand Celebration arrival through the inlet. Observers said the Coast Guard cleared the inlet so the pilot could bring her in. That is Palm Beach Police boat along side.

Click to See WPTV NBC5 Aerial Photos of the Arrival into the Inlet and Port

 WPTV NBC5 Video: