The Norwegian Breakaway, top, brought 90,000 visitors and pumped $26 million into Bermuda's economy. Bottom,  Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas which will visit in 2014. *Top photo by Kageaki Smith / Bottom photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean
The Norwegian Breakaway, top, brought 90,000 visitors and pumped $26 million into Bermuda's economy. Bottom, Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas which will visit in 2014. *Top photo by Kageaki Smith / Bottom photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean

Bermuda will have more cruise ship visits in 2014 as Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas will stop in for three visits.

Overall, the number of cruise ship visits is set to increase from 126 to 132 with the three visits from the Vision contributing to that.  

Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell told the House of Assembly this morning that Bermuda is anticipating approximately 335,000 cruise ship visitors by the end of the season in December.  The number of cruise calls for 2013 is anticipated to be 126.

“For 2014, we are anticipating a total of 132 cruise calls, bringing a total of 356,000 cruise ship visitors to Bermuda.  We are also projecting that the cruise industry will contribute over $90 million to Bermuda’s economy in 2014.  This include fees paid to Government, expenditures made by cruise visitors and crew members while on-island and shore excursions booked by cruise visitors, including taxi and bus tours, walking tours and water sport excursions.”

The Tourism Minister hailed the inaugural season of the Norwegian Breakaway as “successful” with the ship bringing 90,000 cruise visitors to our shores with it making “an economic contribution of approximately $26 million. 

“Even though it was the largest ship to have docked in Bermuda, we accommodated the increased number of guests extremely well with both public and private transportation services operating efficiently and reliably.”

Also returning to Bermuda in 2014 will be Norwegian Cruise Line’s “Norwegian Dawn”, sailing from Boston with 22 calls; Royal Caribbean’s “Explorer of the Seas”, sailing from Cape Liberty, New Jersey with 27 calls; Royal Caribbean’s “Grandeur of the Seas”, sailing from Baltimore with 14 calls; and Celebrity Cruises “Summit”, sailing from Cape Liberty with 19 calls. 

Mr Crockwell added: “We are also pleased that for 2014 will have three cruise calls from Charleston, South Carolina on Royal Caribbean’s “Vision of the Seas”. We consider Charleston an important cruise market because cruises from there generally bring a different demographic to Bermuda, as compared to the traditional visitors from Boston and New York.  Our experience has shown that cruise visitors originating from the Southeast United States have a better understanding of our unique culture and history, and often have more disposable income to spend while here.

While the Minister said said the Vision will come from Charleston, South Carolina, the passengers actually embark in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

“Princess Cruises will return to Bermuda with three different ships, the “Ruby Princess”, the “Emerald Princess” and the “Ocean Princess” scheduled to make one cruise call each.

He added: "Carnival Cruise Lines will make two calls in 2014, with the “Carnival Spirit” and “Carnival Splendour” making one call each.”

However, a Carnival Cruise Lines spokesperson told the Bermuda Sun: "The Carnival Splendour is indeed scheduled to call in Bermuda in June 2014, however, the Carnival Spirit is based year-round in Australia and is not scheduled to visit Bermuda."

The Bermuda Sun asked for clarification on both the Carnival Spirit and Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas and will update this story as we get comment.

The Tourism Minister added Bermuda has met with Aida “to consider Bermuda on their limited itinerary in North America”. He said with Germany being “the fastest growing cruise market” this is a prime opportunity for the island.

Mr Crockwell concluded his speech by saying: “Bermuda is still considered a premium cruise destination, and we have developed a close relationship with the cruise lines to ensure that we continue to be an attractive destination for them.”

The 2014 Cruise Ship Schedule will be available on Monday, November 25 at the Department of Marine & Ports webpage, SeaExpress.bm.