“Mega” Cruise Ships Unable to Clear Skyway

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ The latest and biggest cruise ships might not be able to get into the Port of Tampa because there isn’t enough clearance under the landmark Sunshine Skyway bridge.

The Tampa Tribune (http://bit.ly/IYTcto ) reported Thursday that the dilemma could result in a new multi-dock pier built outside of the bridge, which spans the mouth of Tampa Bay.

A trend in the cruise industry toward “megaships” with 5,000 or more passengers is driving the conversation about a new place for cruise ships to dock in Pinellas County.

Midsize ships with around 2,000 passengers currently serve the Tampa port.

The Sunshine Skyway’s clearance is 182.5 feet and there are already ships serving other ports that exceed that height.