Retailers pleased as cruise ship passengers reach St George by bus
St Georges retailers who were given the green light to be open for business on Good Friday, said at the end of the day it didnt matter that the ship actually docked in Hamilton.
Ultimately weather forecasts for the local area sent the Azamara Journey, carrying an estimated 736 passengers, to the City of Hamilton to disembark in Bermuda at Hamilton Harbour.
This was after weather predictions called for winds out of the SW up to 45 knots at 6.30am Monday morning when the ship was expected to leave the local area.
Passengers disembarked in Hamilton and headed to the old town of St George using public transportation buses. Ironically the City of Hamilton was predominantly closed for business on Good Friday in Bermuda anyway.
Only The Beach and a few other establishments were open for business on Good Friday.
When contacted by The Royal Gazette, Theresa Gibbons, of the Island Shop, who was quoted in this newspaper on Thursday, said: The day turned out to be good for business even though the ship ended up in Hamilton.
It turned out to be a wonderful day for business, we had quite a few stores open for business and we ended up doing quite well.
Seventy-five percent of my store goods sold well, from dinnerware, place mats and table clothes. We did good all day. There was a mixture of locals and tourist in St Georges as well, Im sure the passengers noticed that Hamilton stores were not opened for business.
Ms Gibbons also stated that she and other east end retailers are more than willing to be open for business on Sundays during the height of the cruise ship passenger season.
The Minister promised to have a ferry service for passengers who disembark at the Dockyard to go to St Georges. That was jeopardised last year, but if they can ferry people on Sundays I would gladly open up for business.
When contacted by The Royal Gazette, a spokesmen for a number of popular restaurants in St Georges said business was generally good. But one spokesman, speaking on the condition of anonymity noted that while business was better yesterday than it had been in recent weeks, It would have been better if the cruise ship actually docked in St Georges.
Ms Gibbons stated that if the Minister of Transport said it would ferry cruise ship passengers disembarking at Dockyard: I, like so many others, would be glad to open up my business for business on Sundays.
Efforts to reach other business owners and the Minister of Transport Derrick Burgess at press time were unsuccessful.
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