Cruise business set for 2018 rise

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    The Disney "Magic" is set to call on Bermuda five times in 2018 (Photograph supplied)


The island’s cruise tourism is set for a “sharp rise” outside of the traditional summer trade, with the 2018 schedule released today.

The boost, which includes 17 more cruise calls for April, October and November, marks a joint strategy between the Ministry of Transport and Regulatory Affairs, the Ministry of Economic Development and Tourism, and the Bermuda Tourism Authority.

Compared with this year, April’s cruise calls will jump from 12 to 20, while October rises from 18 to 24 visits and November goes from six to nine.

Jamahl Simmons, the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, said that extending the cruise season beyond summer would increase tourism work opportunities for locals.

Water Roban, the Minister of Transport and Regulatory Affairs, said the island looked forward to Disney Cruise Lines making its first calls in October 2018.

The ongoing relationship with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings will bring smaller cruise ships such as the Oceania and Regent Seven Seas brands back to Hamilton and St George’s.

According to the 2018 Bermuda cruise ship schedule, cruise calls are projected to rise 12 per cent and cruise visitor arrivals are forecast to jump 13 per cent.

Bermuda is expected to receive 180 cruise ship calls bringing approximately 470,000 passengers — amounting to 19 more cruise ship calls and 53,500 more passengers in 2018 over 2017.

Meantime, 2017 proved a growth year for the island’s cruise travel market.

Bermuda received 161 cruise ship calls, bringing 416,049 passengers — an increase of 18,145 visitors, or 4.6 per cent over 2016.

The total estimated economic impact of visitor spending and government tax revenue is expected to be more than $72 million, including an estimated $50 million in visitor spending and $22 million in tax revenue.

In 2018, the total projected economic impact of both visitor spending and government tax revenue is $84.8 million, with $59.8 million estimated in visitor spending and $25 million in tax revenue.

The total economic impact would be an increase of approximately $12.7 million.

The City of Hamilton will see 17 calls in 2018, down from 26 calls in 2017.

According to a ministry statement, the Hamilton increase in 2017 was primarily due to the 35th America’s Cup, which brought additional luxury callers during the summer. St George’s will see 16 calls in 2018, up two from 2017.

The ports in Hamilton and St George’s were described as better suited for small cruise ships that make occasional calls.

The Norwegian Breakaway is being replaced in 2018 with the Norwegian Escape, which can bring roughly 500 more passengers.

The Escape is set to make her inaugural call on April 25, 2018.

The NCL tender between the Royal Naval Dockyard and St George’s, which began in May, brought approximately 45,000 passengers to the East End.

Pat Phillip-Fairn, the BTA’s chief product and experiences development officer, said the commencement of the tender operation had stood out as a highlight of the year.

She added: “The potential economic impact of direct calls to the East End and the dedicated tender service, in addition to arrivals from the public ferries, is something the town can build upon further.”

The NCL tender is scheduled to maintain annual summer service exclusively for NCL guests through 2022.

Meanwhile, Bermuda’s partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines continues with regular calls from its Quantum-class ship as well as occasional calls from Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises, RCL’s smaller affiliated lines.

In 2015, RCL partnered with the Bermuda Government to dredge the North Channel — making way for the Quantum-size Anthem of the Seas.

Carnival branded ships will make 13 calls to Bermuda in 2018.

The Carnival Corporation also has interests in Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Adia Cruises, Cunard Line, Costa Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line and P & O — all of which will make stops in Bermuda over the next year.

In total, Carnival Corporation brands will make 32 calls to Bermuda in 2018, which is up from 21 calls in 2017.

Disney Cruise Line is coming to Bermuda for the first time in October 2018.

The Disney Magic will sail to Bermuda five times next year from New York City. The BTA is collaborating with Disney and local businesses to build unique experiences for Disney passengers with specific holiday wishes.

The 2018 Cruise Ship Schedule is now online.

To read next year’s schedule, click on the PDF below “Related Media”.

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Published Dec 22, 2017 at 1:40 pm (Updated Dec 22, 2017 at 1:40 pm)

Cruise business set for 2018 rise

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