America’s Cup cruises scheduled
A number of cruise ships have been lined up to visit the island during next year’s America’s Cup.
And Bermuda Tourism Authority is attempting to lure even more.
During the month of June, when most of the America’s Cup races will be held, the Fred Olsen Line will send their ship Boudicca to Bermuda from June 22-25.
And the same company, in coordination with the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA), is planning to offer America’s Cup packages for the event.
Celebrity Cruise Line’s Celebrity Summit will make an extended stay from June 22-25.
All told, the island will see 162 cruise ship visits next year, up from 151 in 2016.
This will include 16 for St George’s and 23 for Hamilton, up from four and 16 respectively, according to the Bermuda Government and the BTA.
BTA CEO Bill Hanbury said in a statement: “Our stakeholders told us it was important to recruit more cruise calls to Hamilton and St George’s and I’m proud to say we have delivered. Our team went out to create and cultivate important cruise industry relationships over the past two years, then worked with the tourism ministry to close the deals.
“We know these additional calls may be the difference between make or break for some of our tourism industry partners, particularly in the east end.”
According to a press release, Norwegian Cruise Line has planned to provide two tenders to transport their guests between Dockyard and St George’s next year.
The carrying capacity of the two tenders is a combined total of 500 passengers. They will work alongside the normal ferry service already operating between the two hubs. The Corporation of St George’s and the Government have also partnered to upgrade the existing cruise and ferry infrastructure at Penno’s Wharf.
Senator Michael Fahy, the tourism minister, stated: “With the significant increase in calls and the improvements we’ve made with water transport and maritime infrastructure, 2017 has the potential to be a game changer for the East End.
“These luxury brands bring to Bermuda exactly the kind of premium traveller we have been pursuing.
“I expect 2017 to be a year of busy cobblestone streets, active shops and bustling attractions for St George’s. And not far off is a new St Regis hotel which will bring increased air visitors to the old town, perfectly complementing the cruise lines we’ve attracted.”
The release says the increase in the number of cruise calls to St George’s was made possible through negotiations with Norwegian Cruise Line which was encouraged to increase the number of times its smaller premium brands visited the island.
Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas brands will call on St George’s 12 times in 2017 and on Hamilton twice.
Meantime, also in Hamilton, the luxury brand Viking Ocean Cruises will come to Bermuda for the first time, making two calls with its Viking Sea and Viking Sky.
Other cruise developments in 2017:
• Cruise ships also making inaugural calls include Norwegian’s Epic, Le Soleal and Le Boreal;
• The World (Condominiums at Sea) will make one visit to the island;
• Aida Cruises, a German-market cruise line, will return with five calls;
• Holland America Line’s MS Veendam will return to Hamilton, with an increase to six calls in 2017 from the four in 2016. MS Prisendam will also make one call to Hamilton;
A total of 408,000 cruise visitors are projected to visit Bermuda in 2017, about the same amount projected to visit in 2016. The full 2017 cruise ship schedule publishes on the Marine & Ports website November 1.
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