Bermuda is expecting to see an 11 per cent increase in the number of cruise ship passengers visiting its shores this year.
Transport Minister Terry Lister announced today that a total of 385,200 passengers are projected to come here, compared to the 347,931 who visited last year.
But, as first reported in the Bermuda Sun earlier this month, only one ship will stop in St. George’s — the Prince Albert II in October.
The Veendam will continue to tender into the town on Tuesday starting in May.
Speaking at a press conference today, Mr. Lister said: “We remain an attractive destination not only for the larger cruise lines that typically operate in the United States and the Caribbean but also with the smaller, premium lines that generally do world cruises with a stop in Bermuda.”
The schedule for this year projects 180 calls by cruise ships with a financial contribution of $81 million to our economy.
Last year, cruise ships brought in $73.4 million.
New lines serving the island this year include Silversea Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Oceania Cruises and Aida Cruises, a German cruise line that will be making its inaugural cruise to Bermuda.
Mr. Lister said Carnival would also be cruising to Bermuda from Baltimore, Charleston and Norfolk.
“These are important originating ports as we have found that cruise visitors from the south east of the United States appreciate Bermuda’s history and culture, and book more shore excursions than those originating from other ports”, he added.
Patrice Minors, Minister of Business Development and Tourism, said: “This is wonderful news for Bermuda tourism.
“Without question, business generated from the cruise sector is an important element of our tourism industry and a major contributor to our economy.”
She continued: “It should be pointed out that Crystal, Regent, Cunard, Oceania and Silversea are all recognizable names in the leisure travel industry.
“In fact Condé Nast has rated them among the top five cruise lines.
“So our ability to attract first class, premium callers is truly an accomplishment, particularly in the current climate that we are in.
“Of course it goes without saying that Carnival Cruise Lines is also a very popular and recognizable brand.
“And so the combined visits by these liners, ensures that Bermuda is in for a very active and exciting season.”
The first ship, the Seven Sea Mariner, will arrive at the end of March in Hamilton.