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Island readies for mega ship’s arrival

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Bermuda is gearing up for the largest flood of tourists ever to visit the Island in a single day tomorrow, when two cruise ships will deliver almost 7,500 passengers and crew to our shores.

Tourism chiefs are optimistic that the invasion of visitors will give local businesses a much-needed boost — and are urging everyone on the Island to “pull together” to ensure guests have an experience that is “unforgettably good”.

The mega cruise ship

Norwegian

Breakaway arrives at Dockyard tomorrow morning on its maiden voyage from New York. The luxury liner — the largest passenger ship to visit Bermuda — will bring 5,300 passengers and crew for a three-day stopover before heading back to the US on Friday evening.

Breakaway’s first voyage coincides with the arrival of Celebrity Cruises’

Summit, which will bring a further 1,200 passengers and 1,000 crew from the Big Apple to Dockyard.

Summit is also scheduled to leave on Friday morning.

Yesterday Premier Craig Cannonier, who attended

Breakaway’s christening ceremony in New York last week and spent two days aboard the liner selling Bermuda to travel agents and journalists, urged everyone to work together to make visitors welcome.

He said that Norwegian Cruise Lines had “rolled out the red carpet” to dignitaries and the media during last week’s launch, and it was now up to Bermuda to return the compliment.

“The Bermudian people are wonderful ambassadors for this country — being hospitable is what we do best,” the Premier told

The Royal Gazette.

“It’s significant for Bermuda to have a New York cruise line dedicated to Bermuda as it solidifies our cruise industry and tourism industry. We all have a responsibility now, no matter what we do as a profession, to do our part to ensure that this cruise is a success and that everyone has a great experience.”

Government estimates that

Breakaway will bring around 84,000 visitors to Bermuda during her 22 visits this summer, pumping around $22 million into the economy.

The head of the Bermuda Taxi Owners/Operators Association said the two liners could not arrive soon enough for cabbies who have struggled to survive during a very slow off-season.

“Clearly the arrival of the

Breakaway is a glorious day for Bermuda — the BTOA has eagerly awaited its arrival,” Derek Young said.

Retailers and restaurateurs are also anticipating an upswing in business.

Chamber of Commerce President Ronnie Viera said it was “great” that Nowegian Cruise Lines had selected Bermuda as the destination for the maiden voyage of its flagship vessel.

“We look forward to a very busy Harbour Nights on Wednesday and I am certain that all of our members will be doing everything possible to make the visitors feel welcome,” Mr Viera said.

Philip Barnett, co-chairman of the chamber’s restaurant division, added: “In this seemingly never ending recessionary environment, we are just happy with the good news aspect of Norwegian Cruise Line sending their flagship and newest cruise liner on its inaugural deployment to Bermuda. The quality of the passenger on board will no doubt be very suited to the more upscale aspects of Bermuda, and chances are will not be a discount traveller.

“We all talk about how Bermuda and its people always pull together after a hurricane hits Bermuda and spreads its devastation, and how that struggle under adversity brings us together; however lets flip that on its head and exhort all Bermudians to pull together in this ‘hurricane of good’.

“Let each and every one of us do something in our own way to welcome the passengers and crew and make sure their visit is so unforgettably good, that they can’t help but tell ten friends how wonderful Bermuda is.

“Word-of-mouth advertising is impossible to buy, yet costs us nothing when we get it. It is up to each and every one of us to make the

Breakaway such a rip roaring success that cruise lines will be falling over themselves to position ships to visit Bermuda.”

One Dockyard pub said it had taken on extra staff to cope with the anticipated boom in business.

Rickeisha Burgess, assistant manager of the Frog & Onion, said: “We’re definitely ready. We’ve brought in extras of everything.

“We’ve even taken on five more staff to cope with demand and we’re looking forward to being busy — it’s going to be a real boost.”

The water park on board the Norwegian Breakaway.
Fat Cats Jazz & Blues Club, a computer generated image or on board entertainment for Breakaway passengers to enjoy.
Breezeway Bar and Grill, a computer generated image of the inside of Norwegian Cruise’s new ship, Norwegian Breakaway, which arrives in Bermuda tomorrow.
(AP Photo/Norwegian Cruise Line) The Breakaway sports a colourful mural of the city New York City skyline by pop artist Peter Max. Norwegian Cruise’s new ship, Norwegian Breakaway arrives in Bermuda tomorrow.
(AP Photo/Richard Drew) The Breakaway sports a colourful mural of the city New York City skyline by pop artist Peter Max. Norwegian Cruise’s new ship, Norwegian Breakaway arrives in Bermuda tomorrow.
(AP Photo/Norwegian Cruise Line) The Breakaway sports a colourful mural of the city New York City skyline by pop artist Peter Max. Norwegian Cruise’s new ship, Norwegian Breakaway arrives in Bermuda tomorrow.
(AP Photo/Richard Drew) Passengers watch a New York-themed video in the Atrium of Norwegian Cruise’s new ship, Norwegian Breakaway, which arrives in Bermuda tomorrow.
(AP Photo/Richard Drew) A passenger stops to photograph a cake by Cake Boss Buddy Valastro aboard the Norwegian Cruise’s new ship, Norwegian Breakaway, which arrives in Bermuda tomorrow.
(AP Photo/Norwegian Cruise Line) The Breakaway sports a colourful mural of the city New York City skyline by pop artist Peter Max. Norwegian Cruise’s new ship, Norwegian Breakaway arrives in Bermuda tomorrow.
(AP Photo/Richard Drew) The New York City skyline is visible beyond the deck chairs aboard the Norwegian Cruise’s new ship, Norwegian Breakaway, which arrives in Bermuda tomorrow.
(AP Photo/Richard Drew) The New York City skyline is visible beyond the upper deck of Norwegian Cruise’s new ship, Norwegian Breakaway, which arrives in Bermuda tomorrow.
(AP Photo/Norwegian Cruise Line) The Breakaway sports a colourful mural of the city New York City skyline by pop artist Peter Max. Norwegian Cruise’s new ship, Norwegian Breakaway arrives in Bermuda tomorrow.
(AP Photo/Richard Drew) Cary Gilbert, right, of North Brunswick, New Jersey, eats a hotdog from a New York style cart aboard the Norwegian Cruise’s new ship, Norwegian Breakaway, which arrives in Bermuda tomorrow.
(AP Photo/Norwegian Cruise Line) The Breakaway sports a colourful mural of the city New York City skyline by pop artist Peter Max. Norwegian Cruise’s new ship, Norwegian Breakaway arrives in Bermuda tomorrow.
Cirque Dreams and Dinner Jungle Fantasy, a computer generated image or on board entertainment for Breakaway passengers to enjoy.

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Published May 14, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 13, 2013 at 11:00 pm)

Island readies for mega ship’s arrival

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