NCL’s tenders will create jobs in Bermuda
A multimillion dollar investment in two catamarans by Norwegian Cruise Line will create up to ten jobs in Bermuda.
Bill Hanbury, CEO of the Bermuda Tourism Authority said the catamarans, with a 250-passenger capacity each, would be used to transport Norwegian cruise ship passengers from Dockyard to St George.
Mr Hanbury added: “As part of the negotiations with NCL and as part of their new five-year agreement, which is now in place, they will provide Bermuda with additional lift between St George's and Dockyard, which is sorely needed.”
He was speaking after NCL advertised for a Bermudian operator with “in-depth knowledge of the marine industry” to run the ferries on behalf of the cruise line.
Mr Hanbury said: “They will augment our public ferry system, not supplant it any way whatsoever.
“We have a brilliant ferry system which is a huge asset and we put a lot of value on it, but this will accommodate Norwegian's passengers specifically between two destinations which are a very big part of the Bermuda tourist product.”
NCL declined to comment on the move, which will see the ferries run on island until 2022, and referred all questions to the BTA.
It is thought the new ferries will cost between $3 million and $4 million each.
Mr Hanbury said: “This is a positive thing. This is an investment we could not make on our own.”
“They may help us, particularly when they have very high demand periods, with some lifts which will accommodate other visitors, but this is predominantly for NCL passengers, who sometimes struggle between Dockyard and St George's.
“It also frees space on the public ferries, which also accommodates our visitors.”
Michael Fahy, the Minister for Tourism, Transport and Municipalities, said: “The ministry welcomes this exciting new partnership ... NCL have agreed to procure the tenders and bring them to Bermuda, where they will be maintained by NCL.
“While it is expected to provide between six and ten new jobs for Bermudians to operate the tender service, it may also breathe new life into the town of St George.
“Increased vibrancy for the Olde Towne should create jobs in restaurants, retail stores, at the beaches and at various east end attractions.
“We also expect an increased number of fares for taxis and minibuses as a result.”