Port Everglades was officially established as a deep-water inlet in 1927, and more than 5,300 ships enter the port in a year. U.S. naval vessels, containerships, freighters and more importantly, cruise ships, frequent the inlet and harbor on a daily basis. The inlet and harbor can accommodate some of the world’s largest ships, having played host to the Queen Mary 2 (the world’s largest cruise ship) many times.
In 1913, the Fort Lauderdale Harbor Company was formed, and eventually opened the New River to the sea for small boats by digging out the Lake Mabel Cut.
On Feb. 22, 1928, President Calvin Coolidge was to press a button at the White House detonating explosives to remove a rock barrier separating the harbor from the sea, but when the button was pressed, nothing happened. The rock was eventually removed, and by the end of 1928, cotton and other goods were passing through the port.
Today, Port Everglades is one of the largest ports on the Eastern Seaboard, and the largest port, by volume, in Florida.
Use NOAA Chart 11470
Mariners should be advised that cruise ships, compressed natural gas carriers, U.S. naval vessels and other sensitive ships are escorted through the inlet and harbor by the U.S.C.G., which maintains a security perimeter around each ship. Recreational vessels are warned to keep clear and abide by any warnings or instructions given by the Coast Guard.
The inlet itself is wide, deep and easy to navigate. Depths of 40 to 50 feet are maintained and range lights will help guide you in. The North and South jetties are marked with flashing red and green lights, respectively.