Tampa, Fla.-(Newsradio 970 WFLA)-The Florida Department of Transportation has released the Tampa Bay Cruise Pre-Feasibility Study. The study was commissioned to determine how the region can both maintain its current cruise business while at the same time allow for significant growth from the new "mega" cruise ship market, and to identify potential courses of action.

The pre-feasibility report is the culmination of an exhaustive research effort that included cruise industry and stakeholder interviews, shipbuilding orders and trends, cruise industry marketing, passenger trends and demographics, stakeholder review, feedback and validation.

The resulting study provides a knowledge based foundation in the determination of future direction of the cruise industry in the Tampa Bay region.

Key points from the study include:

*Low bridge clearance as a result of the height limitation of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge does not allow for the larger cruise vessels to utilize the cruise terminals and support infrastructure developed within Tampa Bay

*The available options:

Do nothing and only receive vessels that fit under the bridge; Build a new port seaward of the bridge; or, Replace the Sunshine Skyway Bridge

Photo Credit 970 WFLA/K. Norman