In order to  win the bid for Super Bowl 2005,  the city of Jacksonville needed additional accommodations to meet NFL requirements. Landry & Kling had the solution: the use of dockside cruise ship charters as “floating hotels”. But could Jacksonville accommodate 5 ships with only 1 passenger terminal on the St. Johns River?

Super Bowl Jacksonville 5 dockside cruise ship chartersBackground – Super Bowl 2005

Because Jacksonville was the smallest municipality ever to bid for the Super Bowl, the host committee’s pitch for the mega sporting event hinged upon the idea of using cruise ships on the city’s St. Johns River to supplement the local hotel room inventory. Once Jacksonville won the chance to host the big game, it was up to Landry & Kling to find the appropriate ships and attend to all the contract and planning details.

Program Challenges

The host committee wanted the ships operate like floating hotels so the corporate sponsors would have the have freedom to move from ship to ship. In addition, they wanted the general public and sponsors from other hotels to be able to come on board and use the ships venues.

dockside cruise ship charters - ships in Jacksonville at nightLandry & Kling had to determine the logistics of bringing cruise ships down the St. Johns River. With so many bridges and overhead electric wires, the height of the ships had to be limited, and they also had to fit the depth and length of the Jacksonville docking facility.

Ship selection was a complex process due to environmental and technical requirements, physical impediments for ships on the St. Johns River, the unbundling of meal pricing and other adjustments to onboard services. Security and environmental impact were also concerns.

Landry & Kling’s Elegant Solutions

  • dockside cruise ship charrters - signage onboard ship for Super Bowl 2005It took a full year for Landry & Kling to source and contract 5 appropriate vessels that would meet all the physical and technical requirements as well as the demands of the Jacksonville Host Committee. Three Holland America Line ships, and one each from Carnival and Radisson Seven Seas Cruises were contracted and transformed into floating hotels during Super Bowl 2005.
  • Landry & Kling took a multilevel approach to security to satisfy federal and state agencies, plus the Coast Guard and the Jacksonville sheriff’s office.
  • To make sure the cruise ships would not have a negative environmental impact, they were hooked up to city utilities for water and electricity, so there were zero emissions.

The Final Score: Success!

  • The creative solution of using 5 dockside cruise ship charters for floating hotels won the bid Super Bowl for Jacksonville, and the program was executed seamlessly.
  • Together, the 5 dockside cruise ship charters added 3,667 deluxe and luxury rooms, 35 bars, 25 entertainment venues, 15 restaurants and 5 spas.
  • More than 50 corporate sponsors of the game held 60-plus events, all coordinated through Landry & Kling.