Cruise lines are keen for channel dredging update, reports Transport Minister
Transport Minister Terry Lister said a study into dredging the Town Cut passage for larger cruise ships should be completed in May.
Mr Lister told the House of Assembly on Friday he had attended the Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention, which took place from March 1 to 17.
“We met with many of the CEOs and senior staff from the cruise lines serving Bermuda and also had meetings with some of the cruise lines we wish to attract to the Island.
“Bermuda remains a popular and desirable port of call for most cruise lines and we have worked hard to develop close partnerships with the major cruise lines that service Bermuda, as well as many premium niche cruise lines that make occasional calls here.”
He announced that German line Aida Cruises will be sailing to Bermuda three times this year.
He added that he told cruise lines that Government's top priority remains trying to secure smaller cruise ships capable of docking in St George's and Hamilton.
“Unfortunately, the ships that are capable of accessing those ports are generally the cruise lines' premium ships that are doing world cruises, not the typical US East Coast to Bermuda cruises,” he said. “However, we remain committed to continuing to try to find smaller ships for St George's and Hamilton.”
He added: “Every cruise line we met with wanted an update on the Channel Study that is now underway and scheduled for completion in late-May.”
Opposition MP Charlie Swan asked if cruise lines had commented on Bermuda's land-based experience.
Mr Lister said he had pushed the companies to air any complaints they had and would be working to improve the system to meet their needs.